Bakkt Bitcoin Futures Has Reached “Critical Mass”, Expected to Launch in Q3:

In the coming week, Bakkt is expected to test-launch its Bitcoin (BTC) futures product. While many have begun to doubt its viability as a medium for institutional adoption, especially due to the countless delays it faced, this may not be the case.

Related Reading: BitMEX May Be the First Target of the U.S.; Which Crypto Platform is Next?

Earlier this week, the team at Fundstrat Global Advisors, a New York-based markets analysis firm with roots in the cryptocurrency space, attended the Bakkt Institutional Digital Asset Summit that was hosted by the New York Stock Exchange.

And per an analysis from Sam Doctor of Fundstrat, institutions and other entities in attendance were not only bullish on Bakkt, but the broader Bitcoin and cryptocurrency market too.

Institutions Hyped for Bakkt’s Bitcoin Futures

In a recent Fundstrat research note posted to Twitter, Doctor explained that per his first-hand experience of the event, which saw representatives from over 150 investors and institutions attend, there is “institutional anticipation” for Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures, slated to be the first U.S.-regulated vehicle of its sort that is physically delivered. He wrote:

“As we have written before, Bakkt tackles many of the barriers to adoption for traditional investors seeking to expand their mandate to include crypto.”

He goes on to write that there “appears to be a critical mass of adopters ready to come on board on Day 1 of the Bakkt launch”, noting that the firm’s sales team is starting to ramp up discussions with everyone from brokers and market makers.

He thus confirms that should the hype translate into actual investment, the long-expected launch of the Bitcoin product, which will give many institutions their first taste of so-called “physical” BTC, could be a “huge” catalyst for the growth of this already budding market.

This news comes hot on the heels of reports that claimed that ErisX and LedgerX, two competitors of Bakkt, had secured the proper licenses from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) that will allow these upstart crypto exchanges to also list Bitcoin futures.

Bakkt Pay?

In related news, according to a recent report from trade publication The Block, Bakkt has recently signed a new employee that may be working on a digital asset wallet.

Earlier this year, the company made a series of hires, indicated by the “careers” section on its website. One job listing called for a mobile app developer, sparking discussion about Bakkt’s plans post-Bitcoin futures.

The Block’s sources say that following the release of the long-awaited financial vehicle, the crypto platform may launch the mobile application. Not many details were given about this product, but the outlet points out that Bakkt’s recently-updated website mentions digital payments. An excerpt from reads:

“Whether between consumers and merchants or peers, the ability to conduct transactions in digital assets holds promise as a these new global currencies evolve beyond a store of value or speculative assets, and as distributed ledger technology scales. Bakkt is working with leading merchants who recognize the potential of digital assets.”

Earlier reports have suggested that Starbucks may be one of the users of Bakkt’s eventual payments solution, which is most likely to involve Bitcoin.

Related Reading: Cryptocurrency is Part of the Global Currency War, Says Federal Reserve Branch Head
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Crypto Tidbits: “Unstoppable Force” Bitcoin Back at $10,000, Libra in Congress

Another week, another round of Crypto Tidbits. As is seemingly the norm, Bitcoin saw a tumultuous week, trading from everywhere from $9,100 to around $11,000. Per the time of writing this article, the dust has somewhat settled, with BTC around the $10,500 region for at least the past 18 hours.

Cryptocurrency prices are lower than they were earlier this month or in late-June. But this week saw its fair share of positive news — and negative news of course.

On one side, a Congressman lauded Bitcoin as an “unstoppable force”; on the other, the U.S. Treasury Secretary echoed Donald Trump’s concerns, noting that cryptocurrencies are mostly used for illicit acts, like money laundering and the sale of illegal narcotics, in an emergency press conference.

Related Reading: Crypto Tidbits: Donald Trump Jabs Bitcoin, Bitpoint Hacked for XRP, Litecoin Bags Partnership

Bitcoin & Crypto Tidbits

  • “An Unstoppable Force” — Congressman Lauds Bitcoin: Bitcoin gained yet another ally in the United States government recently. Patrick McHenry, who represents North Carolina’s 10th District, told Congress and CNBC’s “Squawk Box” this week that he strongly believes that Bitcoin and the movement surrounding the cryptocurrency is an “unstoppable force”. While he didn’t make any clear recommendations, it is implied that he believes that regulators should foster innovation by being friendly to the “unstoppable force” as to ensure that the United States isn’t at a disadvantage.
  • China Authority Confirms Bitcoin is “Property”: This week, the Hangzhou Internet Court purportedly confirmed that Bitcoin is a form of virtual property, meaning that it is legal to hold the cryptocurrency. While this doesn’t confirm that all regulators see Bitcoin as legal across the country, which is rife with legal, cultural, and social nuances between districts, some see this as a watershed moment for cryptocurrency in China.
  • Libra Trends on China’s Version of Twitter: Speaking of China, reports arose this week that Libra had become a trending topic in the nation’s intranet. On Weibo, the nation’s version of Twitter, “Libra” was the second-largest trend earlier this week, while China purportedly had more relative interest in the Facebook cryptocurrency than the U.S. Per venture capitalist Dovey Wan, who is often based in China, this spike in interest is a response to David Marcus’ comment during this week’s Congressional hearings that Libra will be a competitor to WeChat Pay and Alipay, Chinese brands.
  • BitMEX Under Investigation by the CFTC, Says Bloomberg Report: According to a Bloomberg report released Friday, which cited individuals familiar with the matter, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is investigating one of the Bitcoin industry’s own. BitMEX, per the sources, is suspected by the financial regulator of knowingly facilitating United States traders, which are technically banned from accessing the platform’s projects. The CFTC and BitMEX neither confirmed nor denied the report. Arthur Hayes, the chief executive of the Seychelles-based BitMEX, has stated that his platform actively removes traders that are believed to be in banned regions.
  • Binance Dishes Out Millions of Stellar Lumens: This week, the recently-turned-two Binance revealed that it had recently “discovered” that it has been staking its Stellar Lumens (XLM) for over a year now. The Stellar protocol allows for large holders to stake the cryptocurrency, thus providing a slight return. To commit to transparency and to satisfy their users, the popular exchange revealed that it would be dispensing around $1 million worth of XLM to holders of the cryptocurrency on the exchange. Also, henceforth, Binance will be giving its users the inflation rewards every month.
  • Jamie Dimon Isn’t Worried About Libra: Jamie Dimon of JP Morgan isn’t fazed by Libra — or Bitcoin for that matter. Far from. Speaking to analysts in a conference call that has been cited by CNBC, the banking mogul noted that he does not feel threatened by Libra at all. He specifically looks to the fact that blockchain has been a technological trend for “seven years” and that “very little has happened”, presumably proposing that Libra will be more of a marketing ploy than a viable technology.
  • German Central Bank Chief in Support of Libra: The President of the Bundesbank, the central bank of Germany, recently lauded the Facebook-backed crypto project in a G7 meeting, according to an article received and translated by Mati Greenspan of eToro. Per the rough translation, Jens Weidmann noted that should Libra be released as its white paper dictates, the end result cryptocurrency may be “attractive to consumers”. He adds that it may be unwise to suppress innovation before true issues have arisen
  • Canadian Crypto Startup Coinberry Teams up With Canadian CityThis week, the Canadian city of Richmond Hill, a municipality of 200,000 that is north of Toronto, revealed that it is in negotiations with Coinberry. The City of Richmond Hill is interested in allowing those under its jurisdiction to pay for their property taxes with Bitcoin through Coinberry.
  • Grayscale Sees Massive Institutional Inflows Into Bitcoin Product: Just like other investors, Grayscale’s clients have been subject to the fear of missing out. As revealed in the firm’s latest Digital Asset Investment Report for Q2, its crypto vehicles secured over $84.8 million in investment during the last quarter, marking the strongest inflows since the true start of the bear market in Q2 of 2018. Per the report, much of the capital that Grayscale received in Q2 was allocated to its Bitcoin Trust, the firm’s flagship vehicle that trades on American over-the-counter markets. What’s also interesting is that a purported 84% of the $84.8 million inflow was sourced from institutional players, mainly “hedge funds”.
  • India Bitcoin Ban Seemingly Confirmed by Leaked Document: Recently, Varun Sethi, a seeming blockchain-focused lawyer based in India, published a series of 18 photographs to Scribd that outlined a purported draft bill, the “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill, 2019”. After laying out a number of key definitions, the document’s authors write that should the bill become law, “no person shall mine, generate, hold, sell, deal in, issue, transfer, dispose of, or use cryptocurrency (including Bitcoin) in the territory of India.” Those that violate these laws may be subject to up to ten years in prison and fines, per the document. If this document is legit, it would confirm a Bloomberg report from two months which stated that Indian regulators are looking to make crypto verboten.
Related Reading: Cryptocurrency is Part of the Global Currency War, Says Federal Reserve Branch Head
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Fundstrat Suggests Bitcoin Breaking $10,000 Will Result In Mass FOMO

The Bitcoin (BTC) bull run has barely even started, but Fundstrat Global Advisors is absolutely euphoric. In a graphic published recently, the investment advisory firm suggested that the “Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)” is quickly materializing in the cryptocurrency markets, boding well for BTC’s performance in the short to medium term.

Bitcoin Price ETFs

Mass FOMO On The Horizon

Fundstrat, especially its co-founder Thomas Lee, have kept an eye on the cryptocurrency space for years now. In a recent research note, which was reposted by Financial Times’ Adam Samson, the New York firm suggested that the Bitcoin market is currently in a euphoric state, marked by a “Level 5” on Fundstrat’s “Degree of FOMO” scale.

Per the graphic, this doesn’t mean that the cryptocurrency market has peaked though. In fact, the firm notes that investors have yet to experience “full-blown” FOMO, marked by a reading of “Level 10”. It is unclear how Fundstrat came to such a conclusion, but the company’s analysts are known for using the Bitcoin Misery Index to determine overall investor sentiment and the market’s overall direction.

Once Bitcoin reaches $10,000, “Level 10” FOMO will grace this market, which last occurred when BTC blipped above $4,500 in late-2017. If history is any guide, the cryptocurrency market will shoot even higher once $10,000 is breached. As Lee wrote on Twitter earlier this month, “[$10,000] will see FOMO from those who gloated about the 90% crash in BTC… and those who saw Bitcoin dead as forever.”

Interestingly, just six weeks or so earlier, Adamant Capital’s Tuur Demeester suggested that the cryptocurrency market is still in a stage of “hope/fear”. But, seeing how dynamic this market is, it should come as no surprise that Fundstrat is expecting Bitcoin to enter full-blown FOMO in a short period of time.

It is important to note that the public’s awareness of Bitcoin is still rather low. As Redditor “ATC2017” recently pointed out, citing data from Altcoin Analytics, the words “Bitcoin” and “Crypto(currency)” only grace 0.6% of all mainstream financial news headlines, far from the 1.2% seen last May. This corroborates the sentiment that FOMO isn’t full-blown just yet.

Courtesy of “ATC2017” on Reddit/Altcoin Analytics

Can We Hit $10,000?

So, this begs the question — can Bitcoin reach $10,000? According to a number of prominent analysts and traders, the answer to the aforementioned question is a resounding “yes!”

MarketWatch earlier this week noted that Think Markets’ chief financial analyst Naeem Aslam believes that Bitcoin is still decidedly bullish. In a research note sent to clients, he suggests that BTC is about to “blast past the level of $10,000”.

The analyst explains that BTC being far above its 50-, 100-, and 200-day moving averages suggest that bulls currently have their hand over the cryptocurrency wheel, opining that these technical levels “define the trend.” To back his call with fundamentals, Aslam looks to the fact that institutional investors are diving into the cryptocurrency space at a rapid pace.

As reported by Blockonomi previously, 33,677 Bitcoin futures contracts, the cryptocurrency vehicle of choice for many institutions, were traded on the CME on May 13th, amounting to 168,385 paper BTC. And according to a CME email obtained by The Block, “May is shaping up to be the strongest month ever for CME Bitcoin Futures.”

Popular Twitter analyst “Filb Filb” also believes that $10,000 is inbound. In a TradingView analysis published on Wednesday, Filb noted that the aforementioned bout of FOMO, a bullish technical indicator, and the fact that Bitfinex shorts are coming under pressure to cover all lend to the theory that BTC could soon cross $10,000.

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Institutional FOMO to Drive Bitcoin Price Beyond $20,000 And To Unseen Heights

Some think it’s too early to call it, but the Bitcoin (BTC) bull run is seemingly back on the table. Over the past two months, the cryptocurrency market has seen the bitcoin price double, rallying from $4,200 to $8,600, the price as of the time of writing this, in a 2017-esque fashion.

With this jaw-dropping move, which caught bearish traders with their pants down, some have questioned who’s behind the move, and what will drive the price forward from here. Evidence is quickly mounting that crypto’s benefactors are institutional players, who have become enticed to invest as the digital asset ecosystem has matured at a breakneck pace.

Related Reading: Bitcoin Rallies After Holding Above Key Support Level; Will Altcoins Begin Surging Next?

Institutions Rushing To Scoop Up Bitcoin

According to Twitter commentator The Rhythm Trader, the massive uptick in interest in cryptocurrency markets has evidently materialized in Grayscale’s products. The firm’s Bitcoin Trust, which is one of the first publicly tradable BTC products on the market, accumulated 11,236 coins in April alone. With there being 54,000 BTC being mined each month, Grayscale, barring that its inflows haven’t slowed, is buying up 21% of the new Bitcoin supply.

With the recent inflows, Grayscale now has just over $1.9 billion worth of assets under its management, with over 1% of all Bitcoin that will ever be mined in its possession to boot.

And the data suggests that the money behind these purchases are, believe it or not, coming from institutions. In a recent thread, Larry Cermak, the director of research, at The Block, pointed out that Grayscale’s products are inherently biased towards institutional clients.

The analyst wrote, “Only qualified accredited investors can invest directly in GBTC with a minimum investment of $50,000.” For those unaware, accredited investors are those with a net worth (minus your primary home) of over $1 million (a small percentage of the population, even in the U.S.) and/or those that have earned a taxable income of over $200,000 per year. Very few investors fit these requirements.

What’s more, in Grayscale’s latest report, it was revealed that 73% of the $42.7 million it pulled in during Q1 of 2019 came from institutional players, half of which were an unnamed group of hedge funds.

All this lends to the assumption that institutions are trying to get their hands on Bitcoin ASAP, as such investors are being influenced by the push and pull of the “Fear of Missing Out“.

Related Reading: Bitcoin Daily CBOE Futures Chart Has “Gaps Galore,” When Will They Fill?

This isn’t the only data point contributing to the theory that institutions are looking to get involved in Bitcoin after a year of inactivity. As reported by NewsBTC previously, on May 13th, the CME processed 33,677 Bitcoin futures contracts worth of trades, amounting to 168,385 paper BTC. This is absolutely staggering, especially considering that the last record, set in February, was a relatively mere 91,690 BTC.

What Effect Will Institutions Have On Crypto? 

With institutions returning, what effect will this investor subset have on the cryptocurrency market at large? Simply put, these players are expected to cause a wave of buying pressure that’s bigger than ever before, even bigger than what we see now.

As Andy Cheung, OkEX’s head of operations, suggested in a recent email, “$20,000 is a conservative prediction” for Bitcoin to reach in 2019, as institutional backers should boost this space to new heights.

Naeem Aslam of Think Markets agreed. In a comment obtained by MarketWatch, the analyst remarked that Bitcoin’s has strong upside momentum due to strong technicals and the fact that institutions are rushing back into cryptocurrency, boding well for the current rally.

And most recently, Sonny Singh of BitPay, explained that the recent rally is “just the tip of the iceberg”, as the cryptocurrency space is being backed by some of the biggest names in technology and finance, like Fidelity Investments and Facebook.

After institutions, retail is expected to follow, leading to another influx of buying pressure. But, this isn’t happening yet. Per previous reports from NewsBTC, Bitcoin may have rallied by 100% in the past two months, but Google’s search engine has yet to register a notable uptick in search interest for “Bitcoin” and similar terms. In fact, Google search interest for Bitcoin is only at 10% of its all-time high.

This, for those unaware, suggests that those that already know about the space, presumably institutional players and others in the “smart money” category, are siphoning more money into this space, now newbies and common folk.

With time and the launch of key facets of cryptocurrency infrastructure though, retail will soon follow in the footsteps of their institutional brethren.

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Bitcoin To Rally By 230% Into Year’s End, Venture Capitalist Suggests

Over the past 48 hours, Bitcoin (BTC) has begun to locally top out, with buying pressure slowing and prices slightly slipping. One prominent investor, however, explains that we’re just getting started, looking to strong fundamentals in the broader cryptocurrency sector.

In fact, he explains that by year’s end, BTC will have moved past $20,000, and will be well on its way to prices unseen before.

Related Reading: Bitcoin Has Little Resistance Until $10K: Does a Big Bull Market Await?

Bitcoin To Hit $30,000, What?

Bitcoin passed $8,900 on the weekend, and investors across the board are buzzing. The words “cryptocurrency” and “blockchain” have returned to the vernacular of the public, as some of the world’s largest media outlets have begun to clamor to cover the ins and outs of this space once again.

To seemingly satisfy the need for insights on the crypto market, Bloomberg’s “Markets: Asia” segment recently called on Jehan Chu, a co-founder of Kenetic Capital, to talk up Bitcoin, and why this recent move to the upside is just the tip of the iceberg.

Chu notes that at long last after Bitcoin’s been in existence for ten years, its “story has [started to] become reality.” As he put it alternatively, people are coming to the realization that cryptocurrencies are here to stay. With this, he notes that by the end of 2019, he expects for Bitcoin to be trading at $30,000 — 230% higher than current prices.

Backing this prediction, the investor looks to the fact that you see Facebook, JP Morgan, Fidelity Investments, and other households names in Silicon Valley and on Wall Street effectively endorsing the technology behind crypto assets by jumping into this space. These developments, in his eyes, will drive “mind share and drive adoption”.

Related Reading: Bitcoin Price Recaptures 50% of All-Time High, But Google Search Remains Stagnant

He isn’t the first to have thought so. Speaking to Bloomberg on Tuesday, Sonny Singh of BitPay noted that while 2017’s boom and 2018’s massive downturn was driven by hysteria and “momentum”, Bitcoin’s jump from $3,200 to $8,800 is actually backed by infrastructural developments, like AT&T accepting Bitcoin and E*Trade looking to launch cryptocurrency trading. Singh adds that investors should be bullish on this space, as who knows which big-name in technology or finance will foray next.

Kenetic’s co-founder then points out that Uber and other prominent Silicon Valley IPOs have underperformed, making investors that are more risk-friendly look to assets like Bitcoin, historically seen as non-correlated and an asymmetric play.

And lastly, Chu draws attention to the impending block reward reduction (halving) for Bitcoin, slated to activate in approximately 360 days’ time. It has been suggested that investors are front running this event, as to capitalize early on the effects of the event. As NewsBTC reported previously, analyst PlanB notes that as per his stock to flow model, Bitcoin’s “fair” value after the halving will be at least $55,000.

Is Kinetic’s Chu Too Optimistic? 

While Chu’s points are sound, in that they clearly lay out why Bitcoin can continue to see rampant growth, is he being a tad too optimistic? According to some analysts, yes he might be.

As seen in the chart below published by Adamant Capital’s Tuur Demeester, Bitcoin doesn’t establish any new all-time highs until after halvings. If Chu’s prediction comes to fruition, BTC would have broken a key historical trend.

What’s more, JP Morgan recently suggested that Bitcoin, even now, is trading far above its “fair intrinsic value”. At $30,000, BTC would be far beyond what the bank sees as fair.

Then again, the cryptocurrency market is an entirely different beast. As a number of commentators, like Marty Bent and The Rhythm Trader, continually remind their investors, the underlying infrastructure of the Bitcoin space has never been this strong, despite the fact that prices are still much lower than they were at 2017’s $20,000 peak. With so much positive news on the horizon and dozens of Fortune 500 companies downing the cryptocurrency red pill, some suggest it would be hard to imagine BTC collapsing as it did previously ever again.

As analyst Dave The Wave points out, Bitcoin is still in a parabola that could bring it back to $18,000 by mid-June. He adds, “how high it goes, nobody knows.” Dave might just be right.

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Microsoft Continues Foray Into Bitcoin, Adds Unicode BTC Into Excel

Crypto adoption comes in all shapes and sizes. On Monday, it came in the form of a Redditor, going by “Thepowerx”, revealing that the Unicode Bitcoin symbol (₿), released in 2017, was added into Microsoft Excel. This is seemingly another pledge of commitment to the cryptocurrency space from the technology firm.


Microsoft Quietly Adds Bitcoin Symbol To Excel

Seen below, the Bitcoin symbol has purportedly become a part of Excel’s “Symbol” category. So now, you can presumably spreadsheet your BTC gains and losses — hopefully gains — using the number processor. As a commenter to the Reddit thread pointed out, this is one small step in boosting Bitcoin’s brand recognition and its place in modern society. As he/she wrote, “Everyone now finds internet or email normal, while 20 years ago most people would think you are crazy with your internet thingy.”

This is very similar to Google adding the same symbol to its iOS keyboard application earlier this year. Much like this current case, the technology giant in February was revealed to have added the iconic “B” to its keyboard. As noted by Decrypt, the symbol can be found by holding down the dollar symbol on the iOS iteration of Google Keyboard.

Honestly, this news doesn’t mean much for adoption per se. Yet, it accentuates that more technology firms are acknowledging Bitcoin as a viable asset, and potentially even as the digital currency of the future. Twitter’s Jack Dorsey sure is.

All-In On Crypto?

This is far from the first time Microsoft has shown love to Bitcoin. Earlier this month, the powerhouse revealed that it has been building a decentralized identity service (DID) on top of the Bitcoin blockchain. The project, dubbed ION, is aimed at giving common netizens a chance to take control of their online identities, and take information away from centralized parties. This idea may sound crazy, but many technologists think it has value. Speaking to me, Phil Chen of HTC Exodus explained:

“If there’s a sovereign identity that is you — things that you’ve created, attributes or characteristics that describe you —  that you don’t own, there’s something entirely wrong, especially because we are this far into the information age, and there’s no concept of digital property — what is yours, what is mine.”

The fact that it’s being built with the Bitcoin chain at the forefront makes this news even better. In a related string of news, Microsoft earlier this year joined hands with JP Morgan to integrate the bank’s Quorum blockchain, a centralized ledger system based on Ethereum, into the tech firm’s cloud computing platform, Azure. On the matter of Microsoft really delving deep into blockchain and related technologies, Mike Novogratz of Galaxy Digital recently told CNBC’s “Squawk Box”:

“Over the last few months, we’ve seen Microsoft saying that they want to build an identity system on the Bitcoin blockchain. They’re one of the ten biggest companies in the world saying we believe in crypto.”

Indeed, the fact that one of the world’s largest corporations, an innovative technology firm no less, should appease those wary of cryptocurrency’s future.

Tip Of The Iceberg

Microsoft’s involvement is just the tip of the iceberg, however. As Blockonomi has previously reported on, Microsoft is just one of the big names in technology to have plans in the cryptocurrency realm. Samsung, for instance, is reported to soon be integrating a cryptocurrency or blockchain solution into its Samsung Pay application and cheaper handhelds in its Galaxy roster. Reports also suggest that the South Korean conglomerate is also looking to launch “Samsung Coin”.

And on the Wall Street side of things, the industry has seen Fidelity Investments enter in the fray, accentuating that “smart money” is really keeping an eye on this space.

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Samsung May Soon Integrate Crypto Assets Into Samsung Pay, Local Media Suggests

Many cynics say that institutions and other big names in the corporate world aren’t in Bitcoin or crypto assets yet. But, this is quickly being proven not to be the case. In a recent report from local media, it has been claimed that South Korean technology giant may soon integrate digital assets and blockchain into its in-house payments platform.

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay May Soon Integrate Digital Assets

Reported by Business Korea last week, Samsung may soon integrate cryptocurrencies in some capacity into its Samsung Pay network, which purportedly sports over ten million active users. Samsung Pay also purportedly constitutes more than 80% of South Korea’s payment market, making it much like the WeChat Pay of the nation.

The outlet chalks this up to the fact that the Seoul-based company recently allocated resources from its blockchain task force to its service business division.

What’s more, the integration of this newfangled technology makes sense. Business Korea explains that if blockchain got thrown into the Samsung Pay mix, it would not only increase the adoption of the service but would make the user experience much more streamlined, especially in terms of fees and transaction times.

Because right now, payment ecosystems like Samsung’s purportedly charge certain fees to “value-added network operators” and “payment gateway operators”. With digital assets, however, intermediaries can be cut out of the equation, thereby making digital payments more of a breeze than before.

The report made no mention of what cryptocurrencies Samsung Pay could support, but it will likely be the firm’s in-house digital asset. For those unaware, sources have recently told CoinDesk Korea that Samsung is working on an iteration of the Ethereum blockchain that will host a company-backed cryptocurrency, fittingly dubbed “Samsung Coin” for now. It has been suggested that this chain will act much like JP Morgan’s Ethereum-esque Quorum.

This latest report from Business Korea comes just weeks after the outlet divulged that one of Samsung’s executives doubled-down on bringing blockchain to handhelds. Per previous reports from  Blockonomi, a managing director of Samsung’s Wireless Business Division, Chae Won-Cheol, explained that his team will “lower barriers to new experiences by expanding the number of Galaxy models that support blockchain functions”. It was added that the firm may soon begin development on blockchain-focused applications for identification and “local currencies” through partnerships with local telecom firms, like SK Telecom and KT.

Crypto Adoption Is Happening

Make no mistake, despite what you hear from crypto’s countless cynics, adoption is happening right now. Days after the Samsung news came to light, AT&T revealed that it would be accepting Bitcoin payments for its services through the Atlanta-headquartered BitPay. Per a press release, AT&T is now the first “major U.S. mobile carrier” to provide its millions of customers with the ability to purchase services for cryptocurrency.

Speaking on the matter, Kevin McDorman, vice president of AT&T Communications’ Finance Business Operations unit drawled:

“We’re always looking for ways to improve and expand our services… We have customers who use cryptocurrency, and we are happy we can offer them a way to pay their bills with the method they prefer.”

This comes after Tor began to accept nine cryptocurrencies, Avnet also joined hands with BitPay, and Flexa revealed that it would be making Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies available to spend in the Amazon-owned Whole Foods.

And all this adoption is what will drive this budding market forward. As Willy Woo postulated in a recent tweet, whenever common Joes and Jills sell Bitcoin to buy a good or service, “thousands more will see it and consider buying a few thousands of BTC as an investment.” As Woo concludes:

“Everyone keeps debating why accept [Bitcoin] as a currency. TLDR; ‘who cares, it’s the marketing exposure it generates.’ It adds to the Bitcoin SoV borg effect.”

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Bitcoin Halvening is Now One Year Out, And Investors Are Buzzing

Call it the “halving”, “halvening”, or whatever floats your boat, but in one year’s time, Bitcoin (BTC) investors are going to experience a monumental event.

By this time next year — if current estimates are accurate that is — the number of BTC issued each block will fall from 12.5 to 6.25, a reduction of 50%. With this, Bitcoin’s inflation falls in half and falls under the Federal Reserve’s 2% target for the U.S. dollar. Some are sure that this simple dynamic will catalyze a big bout of growth in the cryptocurrency market.

Bitcoin Price Gain

The Impending Halving

The inflation of most assets can be hard to predict. Just look at the Venezuelan Bolivar as a perfect case in point. As Blockonomi reminded readers in a report on Venezuela and crypto-centric charity, if digital assets are built correctly, consumer users of said asset should be able to predict future inflation rates to a tee.

As Kyle Samani of Multicoin Capital explains about Bitcoin:

“The first halvening brought inflation from 40% to 20%. The second from 20% to 10%. The next halvening is going to reduce it from about 3.8% to 1.9%.”

So we can determine what the inflation of Bitcoin will be in ten years, but not the U.S. dollar. For all we know and as some cynics speculate, something like the U.S. dollar may be subject to hyperinflation by the next decade, as a result of fiscal irresponsibility and mismanagement.

This, coupled with the simple laws of supply and demand, have led many in the industry to suggest that the next halving will be entirely bullish for the Bitcoin price. In fact, Bloomberg reports that in a recent Twitter poll, 61% of some 2,500 users believed that BTC will rally into May 2020 and afterward, citing supply and demand economics to back their cheery expectations.

As Tuur Demeester of Adamant Capital points out, Bitcoin’s historical halvings have always kicked off bull markets, acting as milestones in the asset’s cycles.

Where Could Bitcoin Head Exactly?

But how high will Bitcoin head after the halving? According to models created by PlanB, a popular Bitcoin-centric statistician, the next halving will result in BTC moving much higher than it did in 2017’s rally.

PlanB recently determined that the SF ratio of an asset is linked to its market capitalization. As can be seen in the image below, the higher the SF ratio, the higher the value of the asset. The thing is, the correlation between the SF ratio and price is logarithmic.

As it stands, Bitcoin’s current SF ratio is approximately 25, making it understandable that it is valued around the same as silver, which has an SF ratio of 22. With the next halving though, Bitcoin’s SF ratio will begin to approach gold’s SF ratio of 55.

More specifically, BTC’s SF ratio will double from 25 to 50. The model states that Bitcoin hitting a $1 trillion market capitalization after 2020’s halving event, which translates to approximately $55,000 per coin, is entirely possible.

While $55,000 for each BTC seems irrational, PlanB concludes by writing that money from silver, gold, negative interest rate economies, authoritarian and capital control-rife states, billionaires looking for a quantitative easing hedge, and institutional investors will eventually flood into this space.

Some Beg To Differ

Some have been a bit skeptical of this, however. Speaking to Bloomberg, Eric Turner, the director of research at Messari, reminds readers that those relating halvings to price booms are using a sample size of two, making it “hard to assign any statistical significance to the event”. Gil Luria, managing director at DA Davidson & Co., echoed this sentiment, stating:

“Since halving events are known well in advance, it is unlikely that they would have any impact on the price of Bitcoin. There are so many factors that impact the price of Bitcoin, but this should not be one of them.”

Regardless, most seem to be under the impression that in the long run, Bitcoin is going to do just fine.

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Bitcoin Closes Weekly Candle Above $8,400, Stage Set For $9,600 Push

After breaking from $8,000’s grip on Sunday, Bitcoin (BTC) skyrocketed to $8,750 in a jaw-dropping move. While the bullish momentum has slowed for the time being, with BTC beginning to consolidate in the short-term around $8,700, some are sure that the cryptocurrency market will continue to print higher as the week elapses.

Related Reading: Binance’s CZ Expects Bitcoin To Break From $8,000 Range: Will It Happen?

Bitcoin Closes Above $8,400

Earlier today, BTC suddenly broke over, shooting past $8,200, $8,400, and $8,600 in rapid succession. Initially, though, some were wary that this was a fakeout, designed to trap bulls into thinking there was going to be a strong weekly close above $8,400. $8,400 is, of course, where this market topped in a bear market rally in mid-2018, and where BTC double topped in early-May.

The thing is, there was a chance that Bitcoin was going to rapidly scale back just as fast as it jumped up.

But, just minutes ago, Bitcoin’s weekly candle closed at midnight (UTC time zone), marking a strong performance over the past week. As analyst Nick Cote quipped on Twitter in response to this close, “that weekly print.” According to LiveCoinWatch, Bitcoin is up 6.75% on the week.

So what’s next? Well, now that the weekly candle has closed decidedly bullish, some are adamant that anywhere to $9,600 to $10,000 for BTC is in the cards. Josh Rager, a team member at Level and a popular analyst, recently noted that now that the close was strong, he fully expects for a move to $9,600 to come to fruition. As he wrote in a recent tweet: “Goodbye meme triangle, hello $9k+ targets. Bitcoin could cool off, run sideways but IMO will continue to move up over $9k.”

Some have been a tad more optimistic. Adamant Capital’s Tuur Demeester exclaimed last week that Bitcoin continues to hold in a bullish parabola, which has acted as support for BTC since December 13th’s jaw-dropping bottom.

In fact, the asset touched the parabola in February, late-March, early-April (to kick off the current rally), throughout early-May, and just last week. If this trend continues, the Adamant representative suggests that Bitcoin could rally by 40% — around $3,000 — from current levels to hit $11,000 by early-June. This begs the question — is crypto winter finally over?

According to Fundstrat Global Advisors’ Tom Lee, this might just be the case. In a recent Twitter post, the Fundstrat head of research gave 13 reasons why the bear market is over.

Some of these important reasons include the fact that Bitcoin quickly returned to $8,000 after the $1,700 dump on Bitstamp; the Bitcoin Misery Index passing above 89, a sign only seen in bull markets; a grow in on-chain activity and volumes, which historically have preceded rallies; and the fact that Bitcoin’s chart recently saw a bullish “golden cross” pattern” while BTC moved above its 200-day moving average in spectacular fashion.

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Binance’s CZ Expects Bitcoin To Break From $8,000 Range: Will It Happen?

For one reason or another, the past few weeks have seen Bitcoin (BTC) and its ilk freeze. The cryptocurrency market has been stuck in an odd holding pattern, whereas volatility has fallen, trading ranges have been established, and volume has begun to diminish.

However, digital assets across the board may soon move. That’s according to Changpeng “CZ” Zhao of Binance anyway. In a recent tweet, the exchange chief executive, known for his optimism in the cryptocurrency ecosystem, suggested that Bitcoin breaking from the grip of $8,000 is a matter of “when, not if”.

Of course, he didn’t note which direction he expects for BTC to take. Knowing the context though, he’s likely expecting a move higher. Could this really happen though?

Is Bitcoin Ready To Move? 

Per a number of analyses from a handful of prominent traders, BTC is poised to make a move in the next coming week. And this move is seemingly a bullish one.

Analyst Galaxy recently pointed out that BTC is currently trading within a symmetrical triangle pattern, which studies state has a 60% chance of leading to a price breakout. If this breakout occurs, the analyst suggests that a move to $10,000. Galaxy’s peer, Crypto Rand, has corroborated this call, also noting that the triangle formation suggests a breakout to the $10,000 region, as there exists the next set of key horizontal resistances for Bitcoin.

And as Dave The Wave notes, the daily chart for Bitcoin currently has a “stunning technical set up.” What Dave seems to be referring to is the fact that BTC is currently trading in an ascending triangle pattern that exhibits a clear uptrend. What’s more, a medium-term parabola has continued to hold, suggesting that BTC could move to $9,000 and beyond by early-June.

Some, however, been a tad skeptical. Bravado’s Bitcoin Jack recently noted that BTC has failed to break above its “FAPFAP” bear market average price level. This is purportedly a sign of an impending reversal, as he saw similar patterns in gold, the S&P 500, and Ethereum. What’s more, BTC is currently trading at the monthly and weekly resistances from July 2018, which the leading cryptocurrency was rejected from when it attempted to break out.

He goes on to draw attention to the fact that parabolic advances, like the one that digital assets experienced, always result in a 60% to 70% retracement. And, to top that all off, Jack bluntly points out that longs are clearly consolidating on BitMEX; volume has slowed, despite the recent rebound; the Bitcoin-backed exchange-traded funds are off the table; and altseason, especially for an asset like Ethereum, seems to be right on the horizon.

So yes, if some of the aforementioned analysts’ calls are correct, the current consolidation may soon end and volatility may soon return. What’s left to know is in what direction will Bitcoin move.

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Bitcoin Surges Higher To Flirt With $8,600, Analysts Await $10,000

Bitcoin (BTC) has just broken out of a short-term consolidation pattern, moving past key short-term resistance at $8,300 to $8,400. As of the time of writing this piece, BTC sits at $8,540 after touching $8,580 just minutes earlier. Many are sure that this is a sign of continued bullish momentum, meaning that a continuation to the upside may just be possible.

Bitcoin Closing Above $8,400

According to a number of analysts, Bitcoin closing above and around $8,400 on the daily or weekly resolution would be absolutely monumental for bulls. Josh Rager, a team member at Level and a popular analyst, recently noted that if Bitcoin closes above $8,300 in the coming hours, he would fully expect for a move to $9,600 to come to fruition. And interestingly, he isn’t the only one in this boat.

In a recent tweet, prolific analyst Crypto Rand remarked that he sees a clear pattern playing out for Bitcoin. As depicted below, Rand expects for the leading cryptocurrency to trade within a triangle for the coming month, then break to the upside to potentially push the auspicious $10,000 level. As shown below, the only key resistance holding BTC back from accomplishing such a feat is the $8,300 to $8,400 band.

Even a key industry executive has joined in on calling for Bitcoin to hit $10,000.

Speaking to industry publication CryptoBriefing, Alex Mashinsky, an early developer of Voice Over Internet Protocol and founder of the cryptocurrency startup Celsius Network, divulged that he expects for BTC to soon tap $10,000. He looked to the fact that the long-to-short ratio on certain platforms is still short-heavy, meaning that there are those on the short-side that have yet to cover their positions. Thus, he concluded:

“So I think we’re going to go above ten thousand before we see a correction. Because these guys are going to be squeezed out. We haven’t seen the pain yet. We have not seen them cover. They have to cover, and when they cover, they buy bitcoin.”

Bitcoin’s upward momentum on the very short term has begun to slow, but we have to wait for the daily and weekly close in the coming hours to determine the momentum of this market.

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BitMEX’s Hayes: Bitfinex’s LEO Sale Sign Of Returning Bitcoin Bull Market

Weeks ago, Bitcoin exchange giant Bitfinex raised $1 billion worth of capital, purportedly denoted in Tether’s USDT, in an in-house initial exchange offering (IEO). The token being sold was Bitfinex’s own, LEO, and became a popular investment opportunity for whales and other industry insiders.

Since the raise finished, news on the subject matter has quieted. Yet, one industry executive recently came out to say that the success of the raise is of more importance that we may realize.

Related Reading: Trouble? Bitfinex Posts Record High Net Bitcoin Withdrawals in April 2019

Signs Of Returning Bitcoin Bulls

In the most recent edition of “Crypto Trader Digest”, penned by BitMEX chief executive Arthur Hayes, it was suggested that the recent IEO boom is a sign of returning Bitcoin bulls. Hayes explained that with IEOs being the spiritual successors of initial coin offerings, which was a massive catalyst behind 2017’s Bitcoin and Ethereum surge, a surge in activity in this subindustry could “cause speculators to pile back” into this industry.

The data suggest that IEOs have already seen massive success. As aforementioned, Bitfinex raised $1 billion from a mass of investors, of which many have been purported to be China-based. And Binance has continued to see tens of thousands, maybe more, line up for its IEOs.

While Hayes went on to acknowledge that this craze is just feeding into the incessant stream of “s**tcoins” and “SICK GAINZ”, he adds that Bitfinex’s raise confirms that the “community is feeling good about itself”. Or as he put it on Twitter a bit earlier, “the bull market is here, buckle-up buckaroos!!”

Funnily enough, however, some have postulated that the sale of LEO tokens may be a detriment to the crypto market. As reported by NewsBTC previously, Tom Lee, Fundstrat’s head of research, explains that $1 billion worth of new tokens will have a negative impact on BTC and other digital assets, as the market needs to “absorb” an influx of LEO tokens. As Lee notes, “Bitcoin miners sell $7mm per day, so a $1 billion IEO is essentially 142 days worth of miner selling taking place in one day.”

But, LEO has launched, and the market has actually stagnated, not collapsed.

Not The Only Sign

This isn’t the only bullish sign that Hayes has seen as of late. In a tweet, the former institutional trader pointed out that the June and September contracts on BitMEX are in contango, when a futures contract trades above the spot price, a sign of longs and bullish speculators.

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Novogratz: Facebook Integral To Crypto, Bitcoin Won’t Get Hurt By “Globalcoin”

At long last, some of the world’s largest companies are delving into on crypto and related technologies. The past weeks have seen news arise that some of the world’s largest institutions in TD Ameritrade and Fidelity continue to scale into Bitcoin.

What’s also important is that giants of the technology world also continue to foray into the cryptocurrency space. While Microsoft, IBM, Samsung, and Google have made good progress with their blockchain-related products, Facebook may make the biggest splash yet with its own digital asset.

Related Reading: Ethereum Co-Founder Vitalik: IBM Blockchain Is “Missing The Point”

Meet Facebook’s Digital Asset

At last, it seems that the details of Facebook’s cryptocurrency are starting to get ironed out. For those who missed the memo, the social media behemoth has long been rumored to have been developing a blockchain product behind closed doors. Only recently was it revealed that said product was a cryptocurrency. And only just over the past few weeks have the detailed around the project been mostly ironed out.

As NewsBTC reported on Friday, Facebook’s cryptocurrency will be named “Globalcoin”, with its issuance being completed by a subsidiary named “Libra” that is based in the historically crypto-friendly Switzerland. While the product was first slated to be introduced in India, new reports state that the coin will be available through Whatsapp, which sports two billion active users, and will be a payments mechanism and a medium of exchange for the social media ecosystem.

To drum up ideas and development, it has even been reported that Mark Zuckerberg was mandated to sit down with Gemini’s Winklevoss Twins, his peers-turned-rivals at Harvard and other Facebook co-founder claimants, to talk crypto.

And while the launch of Libra/Globalcoin is expected to be in Q1 of 2020 at the earliest, there is growing hype around what Facebook will be able to do with this development.

Speaking to CNBC’s “Squawk Box”, Galaxy Digital’s Mike Novogratz accentuated the importance of Facebook’s massive step into this space. The former Wall Street hotshot, now a well-known cryptocurrency investor, said that “Facebook is wildly important for the ecosystem”, adding that this tacit endorsement of the technology behind Bitcoin is resounding. He even states that contrary to popular belief, Globalcoin will add value to the non-centralized cryptocurrency ecosystem, not subtract.

The Most Important Crypto Firm? 

Novogratz isn’t the first to have brought up this thought process. In a newsletter published last year, Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano, a Facebook growth team member-turned-crypto venture capitalist and Bitcoin evangelist, also accentuated the importance of Facebook in blockchain.

Pomp, who has gone to the ends of the Earth to laud cryptocurrencies and the value proposition they pose, claimed that consumers should “never underestimate Mark “Zuck” Zuckerberg. He claimed that Facebook’s blockchain solutions, no matter what form they take, is about “building a globally dominant product that changes the way billions of people live their lives.” He continued:

If the technology company could successfully build the product and drive adoption, they will have a chance to transition from a social network to one of the largest financial services companies in the world. This move would allow them to take a small percentage on each transaction and reduce the dependency on their advertising-based model.

This is powerful, especially considering how much influence Facebook already has. As commentators such as Ari Paul of Blocktower Capital have suggested, a Facebook-backed cryptocurrency could open the Bitcoin door to millions of consumers across the globe, even if the two ecosystems don’t have much overlap.

Related Reading: Don’t Count Facebook’s Crypto Or JPM Coin Out, They Could Boost Bitcoin

Pompliano simply says that because of this, Facebook is likely the most important company to the cryptocurrency ecosystem at the moment, despite what many think about institutions and (slightly) bigger names in tech.

Detractors Wary Of Globalcoin

While many are sure that the launch of Globalcoin will only validate Bitcoin and its ilk, giving common Joes and Jills the skills and heart to delve into cryptocurrency, some are skeptical of the Facebook-backed asset.

Frank Chaparro of The Block reminds his followers that Zuckerberg hasn’t had much of a regard for the privacy of his users, even when Facebook was a fledgling firm. Others echoed this sentiment, noting that the product is not only going to likely be centralized and will be susceptible to censorship, government oversight, amongst other concerns that don’t pertain to Bitcoin.

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Fidelity Is Really In Love With Bitcoin: Texas Office Filled With Crypto ASICs

Many cynics say that institutions and other big names in the corporate world aren’t in Bitcoin (BTC) or crypto assets yet. But, this is quickly being proven not to be the case. In a recent tweet, a Bitcoin developer and industry insider revealed that one of the biggest names on Wall Street has and continues to mine BTC.

Related Reading: Fidelity Exec: Hundreds of Institutions Interested in Crypto Investment

Fidelity Continues To Mine Bitcoin

According to Justin Moon, Fidelity Investments, one of the world’s largest asset managers and financial institutions, has a “room full of Bitcoin miners (ASICs) at their [Texas] office.” This likely marks the first time that a Wall Street institution, let alone one of the big names, has actually mined BTC and actively participated in public, renowned blockchains. As Moon puts it, “[this is] cypherpunk AF!”

This isn’t the first time that Fidelity was revealed to have actually truly involved itself in cryptocurrency.

In an episode of “Unconfirmed” with Laura Shin, Tom Jessop, an institutional executive-turned-Fidelity’s crypto chief, claimed that as early as 2015 or so, CEO Abigail Johnson was mining Bitcoin in her very own office. What’s more, Jessop stated that an R&D division of the company even once tested an internal Bitcoin payments network. The company has since launched custodial services and intends to launch trade execution for Bitcoin, and Bitcoin only.

Ari Paul, the founder & chief investment officer of BlockTower Capital, earlier this year claimed that Fidelity has a cryptocurrency culture that is “bonkers.” The investor remarks that there are “hundreds of passionate advocates” of the innovation from the C-Suite to the lower rungs of the executive ladder, accentuating that Wall Street sees value in this budding ecosystem.

And, the company is obviously known to be working on a custody and trade execution solution for its 20 thousand-odd institutional clients, a purported majority of which believe that digital assets have a future and a place in their portfolios.

Strong Mainstream Support

This valuable tidbit of information confirms that mainstream players in finance and the corporate world are delving into cryptocurrency. As reported by NewsBTC previously, TD Ameritrade and E*Trade, two of the largest American retail brokerages, are soon expected to launch spot cryptocurrency trading support for their clientele. No dates or deadlines were mentioned, but these plans have been confirmed by sources to be solid.

On the corporate side of things, cryptocurrency has started to see monumental levels of adoption. Announced Thursday, AT&T, a Texas-based American technology giant valued at $234 billion, will be accepting Bitcoin payments for its services through the Atlanta-headquartered BitPay. Per a press release, AT&T is now the first “major U.S. mobile carrier” to provide its millions of customers with the ability to purchase services for cryptocurrency.

Researcher Willy Woo noted that whenever common Joes and Jills use Bitpay to pay their AT&T bill or purchase an item or service through other retailers, which is technically a negative selling pressure on BTC spot, “thousands more will see it and consider buying a few thousands of BTC as an investment.”

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Corporate Giants Embracing Crypto is Massive Boon For Bitcoin: Researcher

Binance’s loss of 7,000 Bitcoin (BTC), Bitfinex and Tether’s trouble in court, and the continual disapproval of BTC exchange-traded funds (ETFs) aside, the crypto news cycle has been widely positive. This trend continued on Thursday, with a multibillion-dollar telecommunications giant revealing that it would be taking its first foray into cryptocurrency, shocking investors this ecosystem over.

Related Reading: Bitcoin Currently Consolidating After Dropping Towards $7,700, But a Strong Bounce May Be Imminent

AT&T Partners With BitPay

Announced Thursday, AT&T, a Texas-based American technology giant valued at $234 billion, will be accepting Bitcoin payments for its services through the Atlanta-headquartered BitPay. Per a press release, AT&T is now the first “major U.S. mobile carrier” to provide its millions of customers with the ability to purchase services for cryptocurrency. Speaking on the matter, Kevin McDorman, vice president of AT&T Communications’ Finance Business Operations unit drawled:

“We’re always looking for ways to improve and expand our services… We have customers who use cryptocurrency, and we are happy we can offer them a way to pay their bills with the method they prefer.”

As this news broke, many in the crypto community saw this as validation of the return of the Bitcoin bull. Because why would a massive company accept an asset that is “dying” is “already dead”, right?

This is notable, as it comes as Bitcoin has remained to a leading payment rail on the global stage, despite what you hear in harrowing news reports. Researcher Kevin Rooke notes that over the past week, Bitcoin has seen $6.3 billion worth of value transferred on average each day. This is still shy of Visa’s and Mastercard’s volumes, but impressive nonetheless.

Swelling Crypto Adoption

This isn’t the first bout of major adoption that the crypto space has seen. Tor, the de-facto go-to privacy- and anonymity-centric browser provider, unveiled a donation jar that accepts cryptocurrencies earlier this year. Tor’s website now accepts payments in nine leading cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Stellar Lumens, Monero, ZCash, and Augur.

Weeks prior to this, Avnet, one of the world’s most prominent electronic components distributor, revealed it had integrated a payment portal from the Atlanta-based BitPay. Avnet’s team sees cryptocurrencies as a step above traditional rails, as a company release argued that such assets can reduce the “time, cost and complexities of bringing products to market.”

And most recently, Flexa, a little-known startup looking to make “cryptocurrency spendable everywhere”, will be making Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Gemini’s in-house stablecoin available to spend in 30,476 retail outlets. Chains accepted the aforementioned digital assets include Crate & Barrel, GameStop, Lowe’s, Nordstrom, and arguably most importantly, the Amazon-owned Whole Foods.

Related Reading:Big Day for Bitcoin Acceptance: Crypto Welcomed at Multi-Billion-Dollar Pair of Retailers

This may be just the tip of the iceberg though. As NewsBTC has reported previously, Square, the fintech company headed by Twitter’s Jack Dorsey, is looking to make BTC spendable as the Internet’s currency in more places. He specifically wants to integrate the Lightning Network into Square’s Cash App, which already sells Bitcoin at a breakneck pace.

Is This Good Or Bad For Bitcoin?

While the aforementioned news stories broke at different times, the responses shared a similar theme: Is Bitcoin really gaining traction/adoption if the BTC received by vendors is being sold by Bitpay?

As Bryant Eisenbach kindly points out, this isn’t exactly adoption, as AT&T likely did this due to a growing demand for cryptocurrency-related services from its clientele, not because the firm truly believes in this innovation. Or, this might just be an elaborate PR play to get some good crypto-centric press as the bull run seemingly nears.

Crypto influencer Omar Bham echoed this slightly pessimistic sentiment. He wrote that real adoption will take the form of businesses, whether big or small, corporate or grassroots, accept “REAL crypto”, not selling Bitcoin or any other digital asset they receive for cold, hard fiat immediately. Some have, however, taken this news with a bit more of a positive spin.

Popular commentator and researcher Willy Woo is the best example of an optimist in this somewhat sardonic environment. Woo recently noted that the AT&T development and announcements of a similar caliber come at a perfect time, with crypto’s next bull market being seemingly right on the horizon.

He explained that whenever common Joes and Jills use Bitpay to pay their AT&T bill or purchase an item or service through other retailers, which is technically a negative selling pressure on BTC spot, “thousands more will see it and consider buying a few thousands of BTC as an investment.”

In other words, this system will likely not hamper the growth of Bitcoin’s value. Instead, it should actually be a positive growth catalyst, as lower prices may entice more investment in the space, especially as digital assets’ value proposition continues to grow each and every day. As Woo concludes:

“Everyone keeps debating why accept it as a currency. TLDR; “who cares, it’s the marketing exposure it generates.” It adds to the Bitcoin SoV borg effect.”

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On A Roll: Grayscale To Offer Ethereum Trust To Mom & Pop Investors

Grayscale Investments has been on a roll as of late. After recording massive volumes for its Bitcoin Trust and launching a media campaign that told Americans to “drop gold, buy Bitcoin,” the branch of crypto conglomerate Digital Currency Group was revealed to have received approval to make advancements in the Ethereum (ETH) investment ecosystem.

Grayscale Invstment Trust

Meet ETHE, Bitcoin Trust’s Ether Counterpart

In a press release obtained by Blockonomi on Thursday, Grayscale has just received a regulatory stamp of approval from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to offer shares in its Ethereum Trust publicly.

It was stated that the product allows investors to gain “exposure to the price movement of ETH through a traditional investment vehicle without the challenges of buying, storing, and safekeeping”. Once the product launches in a few weeks, it will trade under “ETHE” on the OTCQX market. In a comment conveyed to Bloomberg, Michael Sonnenshein of Grayscale remarked, “The secondary market really opens up the opportunity for any and all investors.”

The thing is, this vehicle may not be entirely friendly to mom and pop investors. In a recent thread, Larry Cermak, the director of research, at The Block, pointed out that Grayscale’s products are inherently biased towards institutional clients.

The analyst wrote, “Only qualified accredited investors can invest directly in GBTC with a minimum investment of $50,000.” For those unaware, accredited investors are those with a net worth (minus your primary home) of over $1 million (a small percentage of the population, even in the U.S.) and/or those that have earned a taxable income of over $200,000 per year. Very few investors fit these requirements.

The data would corroborate the fact that Grayscale’s vehicles aren’t all too friendly to common Joes and Jills. In May, Grayscale released its “Digital Asset Investment Report” for Q1 of 2019.

According to the report, Grayscale pulled in over $42.7 million over the first three months of this year. This isn’t a hefty sum per se, what makes this notable is that over 73% of the $42.7 million came from institutional investors, half of which were an unnamed group of hedge funds.

So, it is clear that despite this news, it is likely that the firm’s inflows will still mostly be sourced from institutional players. But, this may be just a sign of the times.

Regardless, with this move, it seems that Grayscale is trying to replicate the success that its Bitcoin Trust has seen, which has become a go-to BTC-backed product for institutional players. The thing is, the Bitcoin Trust, which trades under GBTC on over-the-counter markets, often trades at over 30% BTC’s spot price, implying a premium that could be detrimental to investors.

Ethereum Gets Another Bona Fide

Anyhow, this only adds to Ethereum’s recent success. As Blockonomi reported earlier this month, a “senior official” that has knowledge of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) claims that they are entirely amicable towards Ethereum. He/she explained that “we can get comfortable with an Ether derivative being under our jurisdiction,” confirming that like Bitcoin, ETH is a non-security.

This hasn’t been the only good bit of news for Ethereum though. In late-April, rumors revealed that Samsung, one of the world’s largest technology shops, has intentions to build an Ethereum-based blockchain that will host its own token.

And more recently, Bosch, a German engineering giant, revealed that it is trialing an Ethereum-based smart contract system. Speaking to Decrypt, a firm spokesperson was stated that the firm has been working with the blockchain, yet scant details were exposed. It is important to note that blockchain has been proposed as a way to promote the growth of the Internet of Things, which is likely what Bosch is going for.

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Despite Crypto Rally Pause, This Billionaire Still Expects Bitcoin at $250,000

Bitcoin (BTC) may have dropped by 4% in the past 24 hours, receding to $7,600 in an interday drop, but many analysts and investors are still optimistic. The thing is, the fact that BTC collapsed to $6,100 and then skyrocketed to tap $8,000 for a second time was deemed by many to be wildly positive, as it asserts that the bulls have control of the cryptocurrency wheel.

One prominent investor claims that this is just the start though. He recently asserted that Bitcoin’s runway is a lot longer than some expect and that BTC can easily reach a value in the sextuple-digit range.

Related Reading: New Browser Extension Hopes to Make it Easy to Get Used to Using Bitcoin in Retail

Bitcoin Rally Is Just Getting Started

Tim Draper, a prominent venture capitalist known for sporting an “offensive” purple Bitcoin tie, recently told The Street that now’s still an optimal time to purchase Bitcoin. In a comment characteristic of his long-term expectations for this space, the investor quipped that it may be wise to “buy the dip [or] buy the rebound”, hinting at his belief that whether your BTC cost basis is $5,000 or $10,000 in years from now won’t matter.

He goes on to state that by 2022, “maybe 2023”, he expects for each BTC to be valued at $250,000, explaining his prediction as an estimate of the market share that Bitcoin will obtain as a viable currency and digital store of value.

This is far from the first time he touted such a lofty prediction. Speaking to CoinTelegraph, the staunch permabull remarked that 2018’s sell-off to $3,150 from $20,000 was simply a “fluctuation”, musing that the move was catalyzed by manipulators looking to turn a quick buck. Explaining why buying cryptocurrency whenever is logical, Draper opines:

“All times are good times to enter the crypto market. If you are forward-thinking, you’re going to look and say ‘this is just better currency’, so it’s just a matter of time before the world adopts it. [This will happen] when everything I can do with fiat, I can do with Bitcoin.”

Indeed, many have expressed that the simple adoption of Bitcoin as a digital currency, potentially the money of the future, is what will drive such long-run growth. Researcher Filb Filb expressed four months ago that if Bitcoin’s supply schedule, BTC’s adoption rates, its share of global financial transactions, and worldwide debt continues to follow his in-depth model, BTC could hit $250,000 by as soon as 2022, lining up with Draper’s forecast.

He then added that Bitcoin’s fair value (at that time) was $5,500, meaning that the spot market was then undervaluing the asset.

What’s Crypto’s Endgame?

What comes after Bitcoin hits $250,000? Well, in the extremely long run, like in the coming decades, Draper expects for the value of all digital assets to begin to make a move on the $100 trillion hegemony of fiat, government-issued money. While fiat makes up a vast majority of global capital flows, Draper argues that using such “poor” currencies is illogical, citing their controllability, lack of transparency, and subjectivity to political and social whims on the day-to-day.

With the brightest developers, engineers, and academics working on digital assets — Blockchain Capital’s Spencer Bogart would agree — Draper notes that there could be a capital flight from fiat to crypto over time. He elaborates:

“My belief is that over some period of time, the cryptocurrencies will eclipse the fiat currencies. That would be a 1,000 times higher than what we have now.”

In a subsequent comment, Draper quipped that in five years’ time, when consumers walk into Starbucks using fiat, the baristas will “laugh at you.” He’s effectively implying that Bitcoin and other media of exchange digital assets will be used in the place of traditional payment rails, like U.S. dollars, Euros, or Yen on Visa or Mastercard. 

What Will Bring BTC Higher?

Although the aforementioned commentators seem to be 100% sure that fresh highs are in Bitcoin’s cards, what could kick off the adoption of Bitcoin as a currency. Theses on this matter very, but many are coming to the conclusion that a reduction in supply (the halving), growing interest in BTC, and capital flight from traditional assets is what will cause this embryonic industry to see massive adoption.

Per previous reports from NewsBTC, quantatative analyst PlanB writes that money from silver, gold, negative interest rate economies, authoritarian and capital control-rife states, billionaires looking for a quantitative easing hedge, and institutional investors will be what pushes Bitcoin to $55,000 after 2020’s halving. This inflow could potentially kick off what many call “hyperbitcoinization”, which is when fiat currencies rapidly lose value as Bitcoin supplants it.

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Crypto Bank Galaxy Digital Cashes Out Of Investment, Bags 123% Gain

At long last, Galaxy Digital, the so-called “crypto merchant bank” backed by former Goldman Sachs partner Mike Novogratz, has experienced some reprieve from a bear market trend.

A press release obtained by Blockonomi has revealed that the company, which was launched near the peak of the previous Bitcoin bull market, has netted a substantial gain on one of its major blockchain-related investments.

Galaxy Digital

Galaxy Sees 123% Return On Crypto Investment

The release, published Tuesday, revealed that Galaxy has liquidated most of its shares in, the blockchain development startup and fund behind the EOS protocol, for $71.2 million.

The company registers a realized return of 123% on the investment. While the merchant bank will only hold a minimal amount of shares of, they still will work with the startup in a number of capacities, like through Galaxy’s EOS-centric venture fund, and as a proponent of the blockchain in general. Novogratz then explained this recent decision:

“The acceptance of’s tender offer reflected a decision to rebalance the portfolio to maintain an appropriate level of diversification after the position increased due to its substantial outperformance relative to the remainder of the portfolio.”

As alluded to earlier, this is one of Galaxy’s biggest successes to date, as 2018 wasn’t all too pretty for the firm. Per previous reports from Blockonomi, Galaxy lost $97 million In Q4 of 2018, up from the $76.7 million loss registered in Q3.

Per the filing, much of this loss can be attributed to its principal investing and trading businesses, presumably due to the fact that November and December saw Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies fall to fresh lows, far below what most analysts suspected.

In summation, the firm, seemingly primarily funded by Novogratz’s wealth, 20% of which is purportedly in Bitcoin and Ethereum, lost $272.7 million in all of 2018. Ouch.

As the filing notes, much of these losses were incurred as a result of either the sale of cryptocurrency. Analysis completed by Three Arrows Capital’s Su Zhu seemingly confirms this, as he notes that the company sold WAX and Ethereum in late-2018, which had then fallen dramatically since Galaxy acquired them.

This isn’t the end for Novogratz & Co. though. The report revealed that as of the end of fiscal 2018, Galaxy owned $350 million of assets, 50% of which constituted equity/stake in prominent industry startups.

Novogratz also tried to reassure investors, stating that the financials have not shown the “notable increase in activity across” Galaxy’s businesses in the first portion of 2019, likely as a result of investors coming to the conclusion that the market is poised for a rally, and have thus started to shovel money back into crypto.

More importantly, Galaxy has (or is expected to) launched another fund (rumored to have hundreds of millions in funding), which will loan out capital to cryptocurrency firms, a business that has boomed during 2018’s bear market.

Not The Only Beneficiary

Sure, a 123% return in around a year’s time is nothing to sneeze at, but another investor was recently revealed to be doing much better. Much, much better. Reported by Bloomberg on Tuesday, will be paying its earliest investors up to 6,567% on their initial investment through a share buyback.

This means that for a $100,000 investment, $6.6 million can be obtained. This performance is so legendary that Tom Shaughnessy, the co-founder of market analysis firm Delphi Digital, told reporters that is “very much the odd one out in the crypto market.” It isn’t clear who the Cayman Islands-registered firm will be paying out those jaw-dropping gains to, but they’re probably popping champagne right now.

The report revealed that is currently valued at $2.3 billion, with a $500 million cryptocurrency portfolio and a $2.2 billion “liquid fiat asset” stash, and is purportedly in a good position to continue to perform well as the bull market seemingly returns.

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Bitcoin & T-Bills ETF Proposal Filed By NYSE After SEC Denies VanEck’s Application

Despite swelling institutional interest, better crypto market conditions, and improved infrastructure, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been slow to accept a Bitcoin-backed fund with open arms.

Bitcoin (BTC) may be a non-security in the eyes of the financial regulator, but products centered around the cryptocurrency still purportedly come with inherent risk. And thus, the SEC has yet to accept a single application for a crypto exchange-traded fund (ETF). Yet, one firm has an unorthodox proposal to calm the SEC’s qualms.

Crypto ETF

NYSE & Wilshire File New Bitcoin(ish) ETF

Earlier this year, Wilshire Phoenix, a New York-headquartered investment management group, alongside NYSE Arca submitted an S-1 filing with the SEC.

The filing purportedly pertained to a crypto-backed product, named the United States Bitcoin and Treasury Investment Trust. Unlike suggested vehicles from VanEck & Co. or Bitwise & Co., Wilshire’s trust was meant to hold positions in not only BTC but short-term U.S. Treasury bills and American dollars too. Explaining that rationale behind this diversification, unheard of in the crypto industry, the ETF hopefuls wrote in the legal document:

“The purpose of the Trust is to provide investors with exposure to BTC in a manner that is more efficient, convenient and less volatile than purchasing stand-alone BTC.”

At the time, however, Wilshire’s document was just a prospectus. Now, a new filing has revealed that the regulatory approval process for the product has officially begun, meaning that it has 45 days to make an initial decision to accept, deny, or delay.

While some fear that this application was denied, just like its predecessors, some have hope that this Bitcoin-laced vehicle can make it through the regulatory gauntlet.

The aforementioned prospectus accentuated that the trust isn’t meant to emulate direct exposure to Bitcoin. Instead, Wilshire claims that this proposed instrument is a way for investors to gain a minimal, yet a sufficient allocation to the leading cryptocurrency. Speaking to MarketWatch in January, a company spokesperson remarked that the somewhat unorthodox combination of U.S. bills, fiat, and Bitcoin would reduce “overall volatility in the price of the proposed ETF.”

To try and satisfy the SEC’s concerns about custody and asset security, Wilshire has purportedly confirmed that Coinbase Custody, an arm of the cryptocurrency giant that now has over $1 billion of assets under management, will be holding the Bitcoin invested. Moreover, the Wilshire fund has obtained $200 million worth of coverage against cryptocurrency theft from insurers.

This news comes just a day after the SEC revealed that it will be exercising its right to delay its decision on a Bitcoin ETF proposal from VanEck and SolidX. The agency cited concerns such as there being not enough infrastructure to prevent “fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices”.

And just days earlier, the firm issued a similar verdict on an application from Bitwise for similar reasons, confirming that establishing proper security techniques, surveillance methods, and more is of utmost importance.

Do We Even Need An ETF?

Such a vehicle might not be needed for the success of cryptocurrency though. Speaking to Yahoo Finance, one of the latest business news outlets to have dramatically ramped up its coverage of this embryonic space, CoinList’s Andy Bromberg explains that he isn’t too sure if a Bitcoin ETF “matters as much anymore”.

As Blockonomi explained in its previous report in this ongoing story and Bromberg noted, there are other infrastructural plays that will be boons for Bitcoin. Bromberg looks to the rumors that retail brokerage giants E*Trade and TD Ameritrade are soon going to offer direct Bitcoin trading to their clients.

Prominent researcher Alex Krüger does note though that while the two aforementioned brokerages offering Bitcoin would be good for retail, institutional players will still be looking for a good way to access the cryptocurrency market. And right now, an ETF is purportedly their best bet.

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Circle Slammed By Crypto Winter: Staff Laid Off, Funding Goal Cut, Regulators Bashed

It seems that the so-called “crypto winter” hasn’t been too nice to Circle, the Boston-based, Goldman Sachs-backed cryptocurrency exchange and infrastructure provider.

Over the past few days, the company, one of the first Bitcoin “unicorns” (Silicon Valley slang for companies valued at $1B+), has been subject to a series of shortcomings, including a sudden layoff and regulatory qualms. Let’s take a closer look at what’s up.

Coinbase Circle Stable Coin

Regulatory Qualms

For those longest time, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been coy about which cryptocurrencies are securities and which ones are not. Although it has given Bitcoin (and purportedly Ethereum) the stamp of its approval, no one knows what exactly is up with XRP and the assets listed beneath it on CoinMarketCap.

Thus, to avoid trouble, Poloniex, a long-time cryptocurrency exchange acquired by Circle, revealed last week that it would be delisting a number of popular digital assets for those in the States. The exchange calls this “geofencing”. By next Wednesday, the company will have blocked the markets for Ardor (ARDR), Bytecoin (BCN), Decred (DCR), Gamecredits (GAME), Neo’s GAS, Lisk (LSK), NXT, OMNI, and Augur’s REP. An announcement explained:

“Today’s action is a result of regulatory uncertainty in the US market. Specifically, it is not possible to be certain whether US regulators will consider these assets to be securities… We believe in the power and potential of these assets, and will continue to focus time and energy on supporting positive policy and regulatory developments.”

Crypto Boom-Induced Layoff?

On Tuesday, Jeremy Allaire, the co-founder of Circle, revealed that he and his staffers had decided to eliminate “approximately 30 positions”, a claimed 10% of the entire company.

In a three-part tweet thread, Allaire remarked that this move was a result of “new market conditions”, along with an increasingly stringent and heavy-handed regulatory environment in the United States. What makes this weird is that this layoff came “in response to new market conditions”, implying that Circle hasn’t been a beneficiary of the recent cryptocurrency rally, which hoisted BTC from $4,200 to $8,000.

This, of course, isn’t the first layoff seen in this current market cycle. As Blockonomi reported in April, Sirin Labs, a blockchain-friendly hardware creator, and security provider Ledger had laid off 25% of its staff and 10% of its staff, respectively.

Trouble In VC Land

Circle’s third strike has been that the firm is claimed to have cut its fundraising goal by 40%. Per an exclusive from The Block, which cited “sources familiar with the matter”, Circle is now seeking $150 million, a far cry from the $250 million target that was revealed by insiders earlier this year. Sources claim that this fundraising concern may have much to do with the recent regulatory issues, coupled with the fact that Circle’s core business, the over-the-counter (OTC) desk, has purportedly been hit by slimmer margins and more competitors.

The odd thing is, seemingly every accredited investor and all venture capitalists still want to throw money at this space, despite the bear market. For instance, Bitfinex was rumored to have secured over $1 billion in a week’s time for the sale of its own crypto token, LEO, while Kraken has just raised almost $10 million in a mere 24 hours during a public sale of shares. What’s more, ConsenSys, the Ethereum development consortium, has recently begun its search for $200 million from “outside investors,” after operating off Lubin’s Ether stash for years on end. With a revenue-to-market cap multiplier of over 50 times, it is likely that ConsenSys is confident that there is money on the table.

Maybe investors just don’t like Circle’s model or the fact that it was valued at $3 billion in 2018. At this point though, the industry won’t know until Circle announces (or doesn’t) the end of its round.

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Until Bitcoin Moves Above $20,000, BTC At $1,000 Is Still Possible

At long last, Bitcoin (BTC), in the eyes of many investors and analysts, is finally in a “bull market”. As Fundstrat’s Tom Lee noted in a recent tweet, BTC rebounding by $1,800 off the Bitstamp crash, the Misery Index passing 89, growth in on-chain transactions and volumes, and Bitcoin’s chart forming a golden cross are just some of the reasons why “crypto winter is over”.

Some aren’t all too sure though. Leah Wald, a former economist for the World Bank and a popular cryptocurrency analyst, recently took to Twitter to explain why Bitcoin could still see new lows in this cycle. It sounds crazy, but hear her out.

Related Reading: Ron Paul: The U.S. Dollar Is In a Bubble, Bitcoin An Alternative

The Infamous Bet

Earlier this year, when BTC had yet to pass $4,200 or any other key resistances, Wald and her analyst peer Tyler Jenks made a bet with popular cryptocurrency researcher Filb Filb. They wagered one BTC that BTC would hit $1,500 on Bitstamp prior to hitting $6,500. As seen below, the duo was confident that if their analysis played out, which showed that Bitcoin was then in a clear descending channel, the crypto market could fall below its $3,200 low, established in December.

In fact, Financial Survivalism, another analyst who works closely with Wald, noted that the longer that BTC failed to surmount a long-term declining trendline at ~$4,600, the higher likelihood that the cryptocurrency’s price could “mirror the price action from September 20th to November 25th of last year.” Survivalism postulated that Bitcoin could fall to $800 in a worst-case scenario.

This call, for those unaware, was based on the Hyperwave Theory, created by Tyler Jenks. A Hyperwave is a parabolic trend and a massive drawdown pattern that asset classes/markets with the potential to catalyze large macroeconomic shifts tend to experience at one point or another. Jenks has applied Hyperwave to the Dotcom boom and bust, the growth of Japan’s economy in the 70s and 80s, and, of course, cryptocurrencies.  Such a trend sees an asset rising parabolically, then revisit the base of the trend.

As we now know, however, Filb Filb won the bet. Just weeks ago, Bitcoin decidedly moved above $6,500, not even getting within 50% of $1,500. With this lost bet, many postulated that the Hyperwave pundits had capitulated, thrown in the towel.

Why Bitcoin Could Still See $1,000

Yet, in a recent 20-part thread, Wald made it clear that the Hyperwave chart is still intact, believe it or not. She explained that another version of a Hyperwave actually called for a “buy in the $3,200 neighborhood,” then a sell of just shy of where BTC reached in late-2017. Wald adds that due to the fact that Bitcoin has yet to post new all-time highs, the Hyperwave has yet to be invalidated, meaning that a move to $1,000 is still possible.

The analyst looks to the historical chart of sugar to accentuate her point. As seen above, from 1972 to 1985, the value of sugar followed an eerie trend. In 1974, it began to go parabolic, in a manner that may make cryptocurrency investors reminisce to late-2017 or any one of Bitcoin’s earlier bull cycles.

By early-1975, the parabola had been breached, and sugar fell almost all the way back down, to within 6% of its base. Then, in a weird twist of fate, the value of sugar nearly retested its prior all-time high in a secondary parabola but fell slightly short of setting a new high. And after an 11-year cycle, sugar finally revisited its base in 1984, completing the extended Hyperwave. Wald explains:

“Sugar’s price got within a whisker of returning to Phase 1, and then rallied back to near ATH territory, before selling off all the way back down to Phase 1. Just because the trend is turning bullish, the HW Phase 1 target is not invalidated until a new ATH is created.”

So whether you believe it or not, if historical precedent is of any value, Bitcoin could eventually go sub-$2,000, reneging on all those sure that BTC going under that level in, well, forever is going to be near-impossible.

Crypto Is A Different Beast

Sure, anything could happen. Yet, many are sure that while Jenks’ Hyperwave has historically produced solid gains, it’s an entirely different story for BTC and this nascent asset class as a whole. As Tuur Demeester, a partner at Adamant Capital, recently reminded his followers, BTC’s four-year cycles of a bull market, bear market, accumulation, expansion, and reaccumulation have been followed to a tee.

From here, if Bitcoin’s long-term trends continue to be tracked, BTC should flatline from here, and then rally into its next block reward reduction, known as a halving. More importantly, there has never been a point in the asset’s history where it established a new low one year out from any halving. With Bitcoin’s long-term growth seemingly being caused by these issuance schedule shifts, as PlanB suggests, most are sure there’s no way that BTC sees $1,000 in a long time unless there’s a systemic failure in cryptocurrency,

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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Crypto Startup Circle Cuts Staff, Cites Bitcoin Market Conditions

According to a recent tweet from Jeremy Allaire, the co-founder of crypto startup Circle, he has just made the decision to eliminate (fire) a number of employees. Allaire says that “approximately 30” positions were purged, 10% of the company.

This news comes on the heels of a massive rally in the Bitcoin price, giving an intriguing bit of insight into Circle’s financial standing. This is first major industry layoff in a number of weeks, as firms have slowed down their resizing efforts following Bitcoin’s jaw-dropping move from $4,200 to $8,000, and similar moves in altcoins.

Circle Purges 10% of Staffers Amid Crypto Boom

In the aforementioned tweet, Allaire remarked that this move was a result of “new market conditions”, along with an increasingly stringent and heavy-handed regulatory environment in the United States. This is likely referring to the fact that just days ago, the Boston-headquartered, Goldman Sachs-backed company was effectively mandated by U.S. laws and legislature to stop geo-block trading of certain cryptocurrencies for local citizens. A tweet from Poloniex, a Circle-owned crypto asset exchange, explained:

Poloniex announced today that we are geofencing some assets in the United States. We are deeply frustrated that we needed to take these steps, which are the result of an increasingly limited environment in the US for crypto assets.

After this announcement, the firm revealed that it was soon going to delist Ardor, Bytecoin, Decred, GameCredits, Neo’s GAS, Lisk, NXT, Omni, and Augur’s REP.

Allaire does remind his followers that Circle “remains strong and healthy”, and that his firm will still do its utmost best to continue to promote innovation in the crypto-economy and growth of this technological advancement.

This unfortunate news comes on the heels of a report from The Information that Circle was planning to raise $250 million in a combination of equity and debt from outside investors. It isn’t clear if the company has succeeded in such efforts, but it has been the beneficiary of funding of $246 million from Goldman Sachs, Baidu, IDG Capital, and more for the past few years.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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Bitcoin Rebounds To $7,900, Why Analysts Expect Bullish Continuation

The Bitcoin (BTC) bulls have done it. They have entirely shaken off last week’s flash crash, which saw BTC plummet to $6,100 on Bitstamp and $6,500 on other major exchanges. With this strong rebound, which came after a period of ranging between $7,000 and $7,300, analysts have adjusted their outlook to the new conditions.

Related Reading: Analysts Expect Bitcoin to Drop Towards $7,300 After Failing to Stabilize Above $8,000

And, despite news that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has delayed its verdict on Bitwise’s Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) application, analysts and traders are bullish.

Bitcoin Poised To Continue Higher

At long last, the cryptocurrency market has seemingly settled, with BTC trading between a relatively tight range of $7,800 and $8,100 for the past 24 hours. However, some analysts suggest that Bitcoin may soon break out, potentially rallying to new year-to-date highs.

Financial Survivalism, a popular trader and subscriber to the Hyperwave theory, recently noted that Bitcoin’s four-hour chart is forming an inverse head and shoulders pattern, which is itself contained in a broadening wedge. Although such a technical pattern is normally a sign of an impending reversal, Survivalism notes that a bullish continuation is entirely possible.

He depicts that if Bitcoin decisively breaks above $8,300, a key level of resistance in the short-term, a move to $9,500 would be entirely possible, as there is little stopping the cryptocurrency from rallying between the two levels. $9,500, for those unaware, is where BTC topped out in April of 2018, during which many wistfully suggested that the cryptocurrency market was trying to break out of a bear market.

Survivalism, who is now coming to the conclusion that the bear market is over after looking to sub-$2,000 levels, isn’t the first to have pointed towards the fact that Bitcoin’s chance to rallying to $9,600 is improving day-over-day. Renowned analyst Josh Rager, whose work NewsBTC has often covered, also states that if BTC manages to close above $8,300 on the weekly or daily resolution, a move to $9,600 wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.

And the technicals and historical trends seem to be backing such a move, which many believe would be the final nail in the coffin for current cryptocurrency bears. Survivalism explains that the 50 and 200 exponential moving averages on the 15-minute and one-hour resolutions have begun to turn bullish (head higher) after a short stagnation last week. This implies that the trend is likely bullish and that a move higher from here is far from off the table.

What’s more, BTC’s daily chart recently saw a four candle pattern (Rising Three Methods, as pointed out by Josh of Brave New Coin) that is bullish and was seen prior to 2013’s parabolic rally, which catapulted the leading cryptocurrency into the quadruple digits for the first time.

As popular trader Nebraskan Gooner looks to, the current one-day chart formation is what BTC experienced prior to 2013’s rally from $200 to $1,200. If history is of any indication, Bitcoin could move higher by 600% from here, moving to $50,000 in a short period of time. Sure, this may sound illogical, but the cryptocurrency market is cyclical and rife with patterns after all.

At Last, Crypto Winter Is Over

No matter where BTC heads in the short-term, whether it’s to revisit the region around its cycle lows as Tone Vays has suggested or to breach its $20,000 high in months’ time, many have concluded that the “crypto winter” is no longer.

According to Thomas Lee of Fundstrat, there are upwards of thirteen reasons why winter for this fledgling ecosystem is long gone.

Some of these important reasons include the fact that Bitcoin quickly returned to $8,000 after the $1,700 dump on Bitstamp; the Bitcoin Misery Index passing above 89, a sign only seen in bull markets; a grow in on-chain activity and volumes, which historically have preceded rallies; and the fact that Bitcoin’s chart recently saw a bullish “golden cross” pattern” while BTC moved above its 200-day moving average in spectacular fashion.

And most recently, Lee noted that the fact that Bitcoin futures contracts on BitMEX for June and September have begun to trade well above spot prices is the fourteenth sign that winter is over.

The fact of the matter is, the underlying ecosystem, in the eyes of many, is much more mature than it was before, giving credence to the theory that the market is ready for a bull run. As Misir Mahmudov notes, since the market top of 2017, Bitcoin’s hash rate has swelled, the Lightning Network has seen a flurry of development, Fidelity has forayed into the Bitcoin infrastructural space, and there have been a series of positive technical developments. This might just make the “bull run even wilder”.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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Fundstrat’s Tom Lee Takes Victory Lap, Claims Bitcoin Bull Run Could Be Biggest Yet

Fundstrat Global Advisors’ Tom Lee is on a world tour. No, he isn’t pumping out pop songs or signing books. The Wall Street analyst is touting the good word of Bitcoin, and why the cryptocurrency market is ready to be catapulted into its next bull run, expected to be the biggest yet.

Most recently, Lee, who became prominent in the digital asset space after becoming the poster child for Bitcoin optimism in 2017, appeared on Yahoo Finance to elaborate on why BTC is and will do so well. This is the umpteenth time he has made a Bitcoin-related appearance on mainstream media in the past six weeks.

Tom Lee

Behind The Recent Bitcoin Boom

During a Monday segment of “On The Move”, Lee sat down, clad in his navy-blue suit, to try and reason why Bitcoin has been outperforming traditional assets as of late. He suggests that much of the recent move has a lot to do with uncertainty on the geopolitical and macroeconomic stage, which has recently been slammed by the ongoing U.S.-China trade war, Brexit, and the financial collapses of Venezuela, Argentina, and other nations.

The Fundstrat co-founder notes that Bitcoin is acting much like “digital gold”, giving investors a chance to hedge their bets against crisis with a revolutionary asset that is digital through scarce.

He isn’t the first to have suggested that the recently geopolitical trends have been a tailwind for Bitcoin and its ilk. A report from the South China Morning Post recently pointed out that after Donald Trump, the president of the U.S., announced tariff changes on Chinese imports, BTC began to rally.

Simultaneously, the yuan purportedly fell to its lowest level in six months, as China looked to move against Trump. Garrick Hileman of told the outlet that the Yuan has traded inversely to Bitcoin in the past.

And most recently, Barry Silbert, the chief executive of industry conglomerate Digital Currency Group, told Fortune’s “Balancing The Ledger” that in this trade war, Bitcoin is acting as a “non-correlated asset”.

He looks to Brexit news correlating with movements in the BTC market to further illustrate his point that this move may have much to do with geopolitical and macroeconomic tensions.

Lee’s points, along with those made by his colleagues, can be contrasted to those made by Erik Voorhees, the chief executive of ShapeShift. Last week, we reported that Voorhees suggested to Bloomberg TV that the recent move is a result of investors across the board coming to the conclusion that the bottom is finally in, and have begun to scale into the market as a unit.

Why Is Crypto Winter Over?

Let’s say that the geopolitical strains die down, does that mean BTC will return lower again?

According to Lee, likely not. In fact, he asserted that by many measures, “crypto winter” is over, no questions asked. In a recent Twitter post, the Fundstrat representative gave 13 reasons why the bear market is over.

Some of these important reasons include the fact that Bitcoin quickly returned to $8,000 after the $1,700 dump on Bitstamp; the Bitcoin Misery Index passing above 89, a sign only seen in bull markets; a grow in on-chain activity and volumes, which historically have preceded rallies; and the fact that Bitcoin’s chart recently saw a bullish “golden cross” pattern” while BTC moved above its 200-day moving average in spectacular fashion.

And most recently, Lee noted that the fact that Bitcoin futures contracts on BitMEX for June and September have begun to trade well above spot prices is the fourteenth sign that winter is over. And from here, the analyst expects for BTC to post new all-time highs by 2020.

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Crypto Community Unfazed By Delay Of VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF

Despite the fact that Bitcoin (BTC) is seemingly out of a bear market, the underlying cryptocurrency industry has still been susceptible to bad news. Just weeks ago, Binance was revealed to have lost $40 million worth of BTC and iFinex, the parent company of Bitfinex and Tether, came under legal fire.

And most recently, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has revealed it will not be approving a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal from VanEck and SolidX, and will instead by delaying its verdict.

Vaneck Letter to SEC

Although this news would have killed the vibe in 2017 and 2018, the market has been widely unfazed by what some call a “non-event.”

Verdict Delayed On VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF

In a document filed by the SEC on Monday, the agency revealed that it will be exercising its right to delay its decision on the VanEck proposal by 90 days, setting the next deadline to August 19th. The agency cited concerns such as there being not enough infrastructure to prevent “fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices”.

No specific examples were given, but the SEC was likely triggered to deny such an application after seemingly one entity triggered a $1,700 flash crash last week, and after Bitfinex was revealed to potentially be illiquid.

This news comes just a few days after the SEC issued a similar verdict on a similar application from Bitwise, which is also looking for a regulatory stamp of approval on its crypto-backed fund.

Harrowing as it may seem though, these regulatory maneuvers were entirely expected. Jake Chervinsky, a crypto-specializing lawyer formerly of Kobre & Kim, explained this weekend that the cryptocurrency market isn’t ready for a regulated product.

He points to the fact that in the order delaying the Bitwise verdict, SEC staffers mentioned the nature, efficiency, and manipulative susceptibility of the Bitcoin market, hinting that the fact that it is far from amicable towards current conditions.

The document then goes on to reference the Bitwise report that 95% of all spot Bitcoin volumes are fake, which was meant to comfort the SEC, not irk it.

Long story short, the SEC wasn’t expected to be ready to delve headfirst into cryptocurrency, despite the developments that have been made in terms of custody, surveillance, and overall market maturity.

These cynical expectations have allowed the space as a whole to shrug off this recent news, almost as if nothing has happened at all. Sentiment is still running high, in other words. Gabor Gurbacs, a digital asset strategist at VanEck, said that his firm’s push towards creating “better-regulated, safer, and more liquid” digital asset markets will not cease with this news.

Others simply pointed out that BTC has actually rallied by 5% since the SEC’s latest comment, accentuating that this news hasn’t hampered this market in any way. as trader “Mr. TA” writes, “Now that the ETF nonsense is out of the way, I think the markets are free to move up again.”

Do We Even Need An ETF?

This begs the question — do we even need a Bitcoin ETF at this point? Likely not. The thing is, the cryptocurrency market is getting financialized with or without an ETF. As popular commentator “The Don” draws attention to, soon, millions of common consumers will be able to purchase Bitcoin and other digital currencies directly from their TD Ameritrade and E*Trade accounts, barring that the rumors are false of course.

More importantly, Bakkt, the cryptocurrency play backed by the NYSE’s owner, is expected to launch its physically-backed Bitcoin futures contract in July. While this isn’t an ETF per se, many expect for this product to have a similar positive effect on the underlying cryptocurrency market as an ETF.

There is still hope for an ETF though. As reported by Decrypt Media, SEC Commissioner Hester Peirce told conference-goers at Consensus, New York that now, or even one year ago, is the right time for an ETF. The fact that the cryptocurrency ecosystem has an “inside woman” does bode well for ETFs, just give it some time.

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Crypto Lawyer: Don’t Get (Too) Hyped About VanEck’s Bitcoin ETF

Over the past few weeks, many in the crypto industry have begun to expect a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). Don’t ask us why, but in a hive mind-esque fashion, hundreds on Twitter have begun to call for the regulatory approval of such a vehicle, which has the potential to catapult the space to new heights.

Related Reading: Analyst: Crypto Markets May Be Gearing Up for Massive Surge as Bitcoin Continues Climbing

One lawyer, who specializes in cryptocurrency and blockchain, however, is telling us not to get our hopes up. Jake Chervinsky, as the lawyer formerly of Kobre & Kim is known, broke down his thoughts on the matter in a 17-part Twitter thread, which covered the complexities and nuances of this pertinent topic.

Bitcoin ETF Hype Might Be Unwarranted

For those who missed the memo, last week, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) dealt a blow to the cryptocurrency space amid the tumultuous price action. A document revealed that the financial regulator delayed its verdict on a Bitcoin ETF application from Bitwise Asset Management, exercising its right to extend a self-imposed deadline by an additional 45 days.

Although this was expected, what was odd was that the regulator didn’t comment a similar proposal from VanEck and SolidX, which was on the chopping block alongside Bitwise’s application. This, as aforementioned, has led to a flurry of rumors about the potential approval of the product, which has been an important subject in 2019. Because why would the SEC delay its verdict on Bitwise’s vehicle, but not comment on a seemingly similar product simultaneously?

Chervinsky says this is semantics. In the thread, he notes that postulating that this staggered issuance of verdicts is positive is nonsensical, and goes on to say that considering the context, “denial is far more likely than approval.”

He explains that he would be shocked if the SEC approved an industry first product without taking all the time it has at its disposal. With the final, final deadline currently being set to October 18th, “an early decision likely means denial.” Chervinsky goes on to flat out say that the cryptocurrency market isn’t ready for a regulated product, looking to the Bitfinex and Tether debacle, coupled with the Bitstamp flash crash.

As CryptoSlate’s Mitchell Moos points out, there are clear gaps in securing Bitcoin against market manipulation, hacks, faulty price discovery, and illiquid crypto markets.

This may sound irrelevant, especially considering that the market shook off the Tether fracas and that BTC markets may be more mature than people realize, but Chervisnky notes that there is a nail in the coffin for the VanEck proposal. He explains that Bitwise document filed last week “basically forecloses early approval”, touching on the wording used and the issues brought up time and time again.

Thus, he concluded that he sees a 0.1% chance that approval is likely. Ouch.

A Silver Lining? 

While Chervinsky’s rationale is sound, especially considering that it’s his job to analyze such issues, some are still sure that an ETF for Bitcoin is well on its way. Just look to the rumors about the SEC’s Hester Pierce, who recently appeared at Consensus 2019 in New York to talk about why she wants the cryptocurrency ecosystem to gain access to such a product.

Pierce is expected to speak at the ETFs Global Markets Roundtable on the date of the VanEck deadline. Although it isn’t clear what she will talk about, her status as the motherly figure in the space and as an advocate for new (financial) technologies has led some to postulate that she will discuss cryptocurrency, specifically to speak on the (potential) approval of the VanEck vehicle. This, of course, sounds a bit too “hopium”-filled, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

But in the end, do we even need a crypto-backed ETF? Let’s assume that an ETF never gets the seal of approval that many are begging for. Will cryptocurrency as a whole then fail?

The answer: no. Many have come to the conclusion that an institutional-centric ETF, like VanEck’s and its ilk, isn’t as important as it once was. This is because there now exists other onramps and infrastructural plays that arguably have more reach, like Fidelity Investments’ custody and trade execution offering and Bakkt’s soon-to-launch futures contract, the latter of which is arguably just as good as an ETF.

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Bitcoin Bounces To $8,100, Yet Analysts See Potential For Healthy Pullback

No one expected what Bitcoin (BTC) did in the past 24 hours. According to Messari’s OnChainFX, the leading cryptocurrency is up 9% in the past 24 hours, finding itself at $7,950 after touching $8,100 earlier today. Altcoins have experienced similar gains, with most rising by nearly seven or eight percent.

Related Reading: Bitcoin May Be Gearing Up for a Move to $10,000 as Upwards Momentum Continues

While some have claimed that this move is decidedly bullish, especially considering the context of the seeming Bitstamp manipulation, some are fearful that this is just a precursor to one final drawdown.

Bitcoin Could See A Pullback

Josh Olszewicz, a leading technical analyst that frequently posts articles to Brave New Coin, suggests that the Ichimoku Cloud, a series of technical indicators meant to determine trends and key levels, is saying that Bitcoin is “insanely overbought”.

He goes on to add the Cloud is “calling for $6,150, looking to the fact that one of the indicator’s leading lines, which acts as support in bull runs and resistance in bear trends, sits at that price level. Olszewicz also notes that the Relative Strength Index (RSI) reading on the one-day chart is at 90, which is well overbought, hinting that a move lower may be inbound.

He isn’t the first to have pointed to signs that BTC may soon see a reversal. Bravado’s lead analyst, Bitcoin Jack, recently noted that BTC has yet to break above the $8,400 resistance (signaling a local top), potentially setting the stage for a drawdown to $5,000.

The Other Side Of The Equation

Some, however, have drawn attention to signs that this ongoing move is bullish. Olszewicz notes that according to a textbook chart pattern, the fact that BTC fell for three days, then saw a massive reversal candle to the upside may hint at “bullish continuation”.

What’s more, there isn’t much resistance from current levels, $8,000, to $10,000, giving credence to the theory that if BTC breaks above $8,400, another run-up would just be a matter of time. As Crypto Rand, a well-followed chartist on Twitter, explained on Sunday: “Bitcoin [is] heating up for $10,000”.

Josh Rager, a representative of fledgling crypto exchange Level, explains that this recent rebound confirms that Bitcoin is looking strong. BTC has continued to see higher lows in the current consolidation pattern, preparing the crypto market for a continuation to the upside.

On the side of fundamentals and sentiment, NewsBTC’s Joseph Young has noted that the simple fact that BTC rebounded to $8,000 is a confirmation that many investors are bullish.

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Bitcoin Rally To $8,000 Smells Like Late-2017: JP Morgan Analysis

Save for Friday’s sudden selloff, Bitcoin (BTC) has been on an absolute tear over the past few weeks. Since early-April, the asset has moved from $4,200 to a recent peak of $8,350 — effectively a gain of 100% — and is seemingly preparing itself for another leg higher.

While many believe that this move comes off the back of booming on-chain statistics and strong fundamental developments, one Wall Street firm argues that this isn’t the case.

Related Reading: Binance and Coinbase Traffic Spikes as Bitcoin Price Surges 81% YTD

Bitcoin Diverging From Intrinsic Value

In a recent research note from JP Morgan, obtained by Holger Zschaepitz, a German economist and author, it was explained that Bitcoin is trading above its “intrinsic value”. The note (seen below) suggests that the cryptocurrency’s “intrinsic value” is the estimated cost of production per unit or mining costs. In fact, JP Morgan’s estimates show that BTC is currently (as of May ~15th) trading above its breakeven mining cost by two times.

Zschaepitz adds that JP Morgan notes that this current rally “carries echoes of late-2017”, which was when BTC spectacularly rallied and decoupled from any fundamentals on the back of hype.

Related Reading: XRP Holds Strong After JP Morgan ‘Slaps’ Ripple With Bank-Centric Crypto

Indeed, Fundstrat’s Tom Lee claims that Bitcoin historically trades at around two times its intrinsic value, especially in bull markets.

It is important to note that JP Morgan has been historically bearish on Bitcoin. As NewsBTC reported previously, analysts from the American bank suggested that Bitcoin may only be a good hedge in a “dystopian scenario”, not a digital gold as some expect. They go on to state that BTC could plunge to $1,260 eventually. And, of course, JP Morgan’s impassioned chief executive, Jamie Dimon, has been enamored with calling BTC a “fraud” and a similar ilk of insults.

Yet Fundamentals Are Better

Is JP Morgan right in its assumption that Bitcoin is trading too far above its intrinsic value?

Well, maybe not. As Dan Held, the co-founder of Interchange, recently pointed out, the ecosystem’s fundamentals and infrastructure are much stronger now than in 2017 or 2018, sans mining costs.

Case in point, the industry has some of the biggest names in finance and technology delving in. Square, through its Cash App and chief executive Jack Dorsey; Fidelity Investments; E*Trade, Bakkt, and ErisX are among the developments in the space that make this rally entirely different than anything before it. Thus, some deem it logical that warnings of a large market correction can be deemed moot.

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Crypto Tidbits: ‘Spedn’ Bitcoin At Whole Foods, Cryptocurrency Cynic Flips Bullish, And Bakkt Looms

Another week, another round of Crypto Tidbits. Over the past week, Bitcoin (BTC) has traded in a crazy range, moving between $6,000 and $8,350 in a fashion that seems very reminiscent of 2017. This came as a slew of positive news graced the cryptocurrency and blockchain market.

Throughout the past seven days, a startup was revealed to be bringing crypto asset adoption mainstream, Facebook moved one step closer to launching its own blockchain-friendly network, and the financialization of the industry continues to occur.

Related Reading: Crypto Tidbits: Binance Bitcoin Hack, Buffett Hates Cryptocurrency, Ethereum Futures Inbound

Crypto Tidbits

  • Facebook Crypto On The Horizon, Company Opens Blockchain Firm In Switzerland: Quietly discovered by Reuters on Friday, technology giant Facebook has recently established a new company in Switzerland. The new firm is purportedly centered around blockchain and payments, likely pertaining to the company’s rumored “Libra” project. This has only been corroborated by the fact that the new company is registered as “Libra Networks”, and was registered weeks ago to “provide financial and technology services and develop related hardware and software”. Just last week, we reported that Libra was revealed to be a cryptocurrency payments ecosystem meant to curb fees, and that Facebook was staffing up (22 roles open on its career portal) for that division. And after that news broke, Facebook was revealed to have begun to roll back its ban against crypto- and blockchain-related advertisement content.
  • Bitstamp Selloff Results In Bitcoin Plunge To $6,100On Friday, Bitcoin slipped from $7,800 to $6,100 on Bitstamp. Evidence is mounting that a single actor, or group of entities, catalyzed this move with mere clicks of their mouses. As recently noted by Adamant Capital’s Tuur Demeester, the rapid collapse was led by serious sell orders on Bitstamp. Some have suggested that this was in a bid to manipulate the value of the BitMEX’s perpetual swap for Bitcoin, specifically in an attempt to liquidate the millions of dollars of shorts racking up over recent days and weeks. As Three Arrows Capital’s Su Zhu suggests, someone tried to exploit BitMEX’s mark price by placing a large sell order on Bitstamp, which the former exchange draws data from to determine its index. Order book history seemingly corroborates this theory, as an entity placed a massive 2,000 BTC sell order at $6,500 on Bitstamp, seemingly in a bid to depress the price for a short period of time.
  • Coinbase May Soon Acquire Xapo’s Bitcoin Custodian: In an impeccable sign of the times, sources tell The Block that Coinbase may soon acquire Xapo, one of the first and most startups in the cryptocurrency space. The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency giant is “in advanced talks” to purchase Xapo, a Zurich-headquartered custodian that purportedly owns at least 5% of all BTC in circulation. Sources, who are “people familiar with the matter”, tell the outlet that Coinbase has an offer of $50 million and added contingent “earn-outs” on the table, but that Xapo has yet to shake on the proposed deal. They add that Coinbase and Fidelity’s resident crypto division, Digital Assets, have been duking it out over this deal, which is massive in and of itself. So far, as hinted at, Coinbase has the lead and was quicker on the draw, as the budding startup looks to bolster its embryonic custody business in a renewed drive to appeal to institutional players.
  • Coinbase Sees Massive Custody Interest: In a similar string of news, Brian Armstrong, the technologist-turned-chief executive of Coinbase, revealed that his firm’s custodian crossed $1 billion worth of assets under management (AUM) this week, which was sourced from 70 institutions. Armstrong adds that this sum continues to grow by $150 million, signaling immense interest from the non-retail audience. And in a Q&A session held on Wednesday night, the entrepreneur noted that Coinbase Pro’s volume is now 60% institutional.
  • Cryptocurrency Cynic Flips Bullish, Acknowledges BTC’s Value: During a recent Bloomberg podcast, which Forbes cited, Mark Mobius, the 80-something-year-old founder of Mobius Capital Partners, divulged some things that some would have never expected him to say. Mobius, who once dubbed Bitcoin a “real fraud” in a Jamie Dimon-esque fashion, stated that BTC is likely to be “alive and well”, uh, well into the future. The investor, deemed “legendary” and “veteran”, by his peers, then added that he knows there is a need, even a desire for global individuals to have a way to transact and transfer value “easily and confidentially”.
  • U.S. SEC Delays Bitwise Bitcoin ETF: According to a report from CoinDesk, the verdict on the Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) application from California-based crypto upstart Bitwise Asset Management has been delayed once again. In a document published Tuesday morning, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), who presides over such products, revealed that it won’t be issuing a final verdict (approve or deny) just yet. Interestingly, the regulatory entity has yet to comment on the proposal from VanEck and SolidX, which many investors believe has a higher chance of succeeding. The deadline for that proposal is coming up.
  • Samsung’s Budget Smartphone May Soon Integrate Blockchain: In a comment given to Business Korea, a local English outlet, a managing director of Samsung’s Wireless Business Division, Chae Won-Cheol, explained that his team will “lower barriers to new experiences by expanding the number of Galaxy models that support blockchain functions”. Won-Cheol adds that Samsung will “expand [its] service target countries” after launching blockchain-related features in Korea, the United States, and Canada, the seeming testbeds for this roster of products. This comes after the Galaxy S10 — Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone — was revealed to have a native digital asset offering in the form of a cryptocurrency wallet.
  • HTC Looks To Bring Blockchain Mainstream: Announced Saturday at New York’s Magical Crypto Conference, hosted by Litecoin’s Charlie Lee, Samson Mow of Blockstream, Whale Panda, and Riccardo Spagni, the HTC EXODUS 1s is expected to be a more “value-oriented” version of its predecessor. The Taiwan tech giant estimates it will cost around $200 to $300, about one-third the price of popular handhelds today. The EXODUS 1s, slated to be released by Q3 of 2019, will purportedly be the first consumer-facing smartphone to have full node capabilities, giving its users the opportunity to download the full Bitcoin blockchain to their phone, disvaluing third-party nodes that can be manipulated and improving privacy.
  • Bakkt Looks To Launch Bitcoin Futures By July: Revealed Monday, Bakkt, the Intercontinental Exchange’s independent crypto initiative, will be launching its physically-backed futures contract in July. According to a Medium update from its chief executive, Kelly Loeffler, the product will take two forms: 1) a daily settlement future; 2) monthly futures. This confirms rumors that the platform was looking to launch a vehicle for a same-day market. Bakkt expects the soft launch of this product by July, explaining that it intends to iron out any kinks in the coming weeks.
  • Startup To Allow Consumers To “SPEDN” Bitcoin At Whole Foods, Gamestop, More: Announced Monday in a Medium post, Flexa, a little-known startup looking to make “cryptocurrency spendable everywhere”, will be making Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Gemini’s in-house stablecoin available to spend in 30,476 retail outlets. Chains accepted the aforementioned digital assets include Crate & Barrel, GameStop, Lowe’s, Nordstrom, and arguably most importantly, the Amazon-owned Whole Foods. It has been reported that the aforementioned chains have agreed to participate in the Flexa ecosystem, implying partnerships. To accomplish this, Flexa has launched an app it calls “SPEDN” (a play on Bitcoin community not so inside joke “HODL”). This app, currently only available for Apple devices, allows users to deposit cryptocurrency into Gemini-run wallets, then use their phones in physical stores as a way to purchase goods as normal.
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Bitcoin To Be Exposed To Millions With Upcoming “60 Minutes” Segment

As Bitcoin (BTC) has rallied, posting a performance of 125% year-to-date, mainstream media outlets have begun to come out of the woodwork to cover the cryptocurrency space. In fact, on Tuesday of this week, CNBC’s television station covered Bitcoin four times, while its news portal posted a number of articles on the subject matter.

At the same time, Bloomberg and outlets of a similar nature published articles left and right to try and keep with an uptick in related searches.

CBS is about to put a cherry on this proverbial cake, however, with an upcoming feature segment on Bitcoin that will likely give millions of global viewers a better look at cryptocurrency.

CBS 60 Minutes

CBS To Signal Boost Bitcoin With Extensive Segment

On Thursday, CBS’ “60 Minutes”, a world-renowned television program known for tackling tough issues and covering key trends, was revealed to have a Bitcoin-focused episode lined up. In fact, the outlet gave a brief preview of the show, slated to be released this upcoming Sunday, during which the story of Laszlo Hanyecz was divulged.

During the one-minute sneak peek, we saw prolific television host Anderson Cooper, known for his CNN show, interview Laszlo, whom many refer to as the “Bitcoin pizza guy”. For those who are unaware of Laszlo’s story, here’s a bit of a historical recap.

In 2010, the early cryptocurrency pioneer became the first to trade BTC for a physical item, (in)famously purchasing two Domino’s pizzas for 10,000 coins, which were then worth pennies apiece. Of course, those same 10,000 BTC, if held, would have netted the investor $80 million in paper profits, as Cooper explains (implying that this was recorded very recently).

When asked about if he ever wakes up at night in a cold sweat, wondering if he ever kept those BTC tucked away, Laszlo states that such a way of thinking isn’t really good for him. The preview didn’t reveal if Laszlo continued his involvement in the Bitcoin space apres-pizza.

This won’t be the only part of the upcoming “60 Minutes” segment though. Cooper purportedly met with Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard; MIT Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative’s Neha Narula; cryptocurrency entrepreneur Marco Streng, who heads Genesis Mining; and BitInstant founder and Winklevoss Twins collaborator Charlie Shrem to gain a fleshed out understanding of the nuances of the industry.

Reports state that “60 Minutes” sees almost one dozen million viewers a week, giving this documentary a chance to revolutionize how the public thinks about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

Will “60 Minutes” Get It Right?

Although some think (and hope) that CBS and Anderson Cooper are going to get it right with this show, there is a poor historical precedent for mainstream outlets covering Bitcoin in-depth. In August of 2018, CNBC released “Bitcoin: Boom or Bust”. And the crypto community was far from pleased.

Firstly, commentators came out to berate CNBC for its use of “HODL,” a term that has been immortalized in the heart of the cryptocurrency community.

In the documentary, CNBC host Mellisa Lee, draws attention to HODL, noting that it is a popular acronym for “hold on for dear life.” As Ricardo Spagni, a chief Monero team member, points out, HODL is not an acronym, but rather an insignificant, yet hilarious typo that gained a cult following in the crypto community following late-2013. Not sugar-coating his words in the slightest, he exclaimed:

“It’s not an acronym, you incompetent buffoons. Please do the tiniest bit of research FIRST!”

Youch! And secondly, the documentary was focused on a Bitcoin diehard, who was dubbed “Crypto Kid,” that had seemingly no regard for professionalism, giving viewers not enough information about the value of Bitcoin.

While there isn’t anything inherently wrong with Crypto Kid, many critics stipulated that a focus on a more relatable cryptocurrency enthusiast would have been a better choice for viewers.

Let’s hope CBS doesn’t follow in the footsteps of CNBC.

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